AO Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Seems to have gone quiet so here goes...
Tyre noise is mostly about air compressing and expanding. As a tyre wears the surface of the blocks becomes uneven. You probably notice that some surfaces are worse than others. That's because the ability to let air out through the tarmac changes. So a worn (polished) surface with a worn (uneven) tyre will create the most noise. This is a bit of a generalisation because the construction will affect how the air noise is absorbed. Also the sipes (thin cuts through the blocks) are great for moving water but terrible for magnifying air noise. But these, in particular, are V shaped and as the tyre wears become thinner and thinner. To counter some of this the major manufacturers use hybrid rubber in the construction. This changes the rubber type as the blocks wear down so the rubber at 3mm is quite different to that at 8mm. Also to break up the thrumming the blocks are of uneven size to prevent a constant frequency noise wave. The blocks also have thin connecting 'bridges' to hold them together but these bridges degrade during the life. The construction, as mentioned above, will have an effect. So you can attempt to create a tyre that handles the stress of rapid lane changes but this is nearly the opposite of what's needed for sound absorbtion. But a few million miles of testing at various tyre sizes will find an acceptable compromise.
So turning to your question. Do you think a budget tyre will spend more or less on this type of development?