Tire developers begin ice grip testing ahead of new EU Tyre Label launch

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An ice grip symbol will be added to the EU Tyre Label in May, to help motorists select tires that are more suitable for the conditions they will be driving in. The existing 3PMSF ‘snowflake’ symbol indicates that a tire is suitable for central European and Nordic countries, but in reality the technical demands of these two markets are very different. Nordic winter conditions are typically far harsher than in central Europe, with more snow and ice on the roads.

Ahead of the launch of this new variation of the EU Tyre Label, which was first introduced in November 2012, Finnish proving ground Test World (above) has begun ice grip testing for customers at its facility in Ivalo.

The indoor test area at Test World enables year-round ice grip testing – among other types of vehicle and tire analysis – in a controllable environment that is sheltered from the variability and unpredictability of the elements.

“The European ice grip symbol has been a long time coming for the tire sector. Until this year, there has been no official way for manufacturers to identify tires that are suitable for the snowier and icier conditions of the Nordic winter,” said Jukka Antila, technical director at Test World.

“Test World is able to offer an end-to-end solution, allowing customers to send their tires to our facility safe in the knowledge that our team of experienced engineers will conduct the testing to the required standard.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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