Relation between tyre/road noise and ice snow friction of winter tyres

It is often assumed that low noise emission from car tyres implies a sacrifice of frictional properties. This study explores the relation between tyre/road noise with friction coefficients on ice and snow surfaces for a number of winter tyres, designed either for central European or for Nordic winter roads.

Measurements of noise were made by the coast-by method in accordance with the EU regulation on a test track having an ISO surface. Measurements of ice friction were made on a long straight climate controlled indoor test track in Sweden which was covered by ice. Snow friction tests were made with a car braking on an outdoor test track in northern Finland. Ten different tyres were tested for all the conditions.

The results show that the correlation between noise levels and ice friction coefficients is consistently negative, which means that tyres having lower noise have higher friction. The tested tyres ranked with respect to noise in this order (from high to low noise level): summer tyres, tyres designed for central Europe winter roads, and tyres designed for Nordic winter roads. The relation between noise level and friction on snow was less clear, but it was obvious that the summer tyres were much worse than the winter tyres.

It is concluded that the design principles for winter tyres at large are favourable also for achieving low noise emission.

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