By Alex Kapadia
Kumho has unveiled examples of its brand new laser etching process which is set to transform the way the company designs its tread patterns.
The south Korean tyres manufacturer is exhibiting the new technology at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week.
Mass production tread patterns can be a compromise – part functional and part aesthetic, according to Kumho. But in future it plans to design its treads in two stages.
The functional requirement, free of compromise, will be moulded in the normal way. Any additional attributes or design features will then be etched onto the surface as required.
Roger Jenkins, managing director of Kumho’s Birmingham-based European Technical Centre, said: “The new laser technology will allow us far more freedom at the design stage and the ability to experiment with any number of patterns and surface finishes.
“In the future, the process could also provide production tyres with a variety of short-term gains – such as special surfaces for use in motorsport or driving on low friction surfaces etc.”