Posted on 26 November 2014
Vacu-Lug Traction Tyres has launched the first in its new flagship range of commercial vehicle drive axle tyres, inspired by the latest production techniques and technologies used in aircraft and high-performance tyres. The Vacu-Lug Logistik range is designed to offer operators the “very, very lowest costs per kilometre”.
Grantham-based commercial tyre remoulding specialist Vacu-Lug has already launched its Logistik 295/80R22.5 drive tyre, in its new Logistik drive pattern. The 315/70R22.5 tyre is poised to launch early in the New Year.
Vacu-Lug Plant Manager Brian Barron says: “With this latest development of our drive axle tyres, we looked outside of the envelope of current truck tyre production to see what was setting the benchmark. Asking ourselves constantly how we could do things better and what was being done by those at the top end of today’s tyre production. Leading the way were the technologies used by aircraft and high-performance tyre manufacturers so we adopted their methodologies and put them into our truck tyre technology.”
One of the innovations centres on increasing the traditional retread press of six segments to 12 segments. Barron is not aware of any of Vacu-Lug’s competitors currently using that number.
“Some of our other competitors are at 10…so far as I’m aware, and I think we are the only one with 12 at the moment,” says Barron.
The advantage of moving to 12 segments is a significant increase in true roundness and hence the ability to use “every mm of tread depth throughout the tyres’ rolling circumference” available.
Additionally, the new press is also a substantial upgrade in terms of curing pressure. Whereas the traditional curing pressure is +/-200psi, the new press curing pressure is 300psi.
“The theory is that there is a level of micro-porosity in a cured rubber compound and increasing the curing pressure or consolidation eliminates that completely,” adds Barron.
“More pressure equals more consolidation and it means that we can maximise the tread compound performance, not only in terms of kilometres, but also in terms of fuel efficiency.”
At a competitive time for the commercial vehicle industry, when many operators are working to low margins, the upgrade in segments and curing pressure can lead to a longer tyre lifespan and lower rolling resistance, hence lower operating costs.