YOKOHAMA´s Massive New Cooling Unit at Indoor Ice-Surface Testing Facility

YOKOHAMA announced today that it has installed a new cooling unit in the indoor ice-surface testing facility at its Tire Test Center of Hokkaido. YOKOHAMA completed the installation work at the test center, which is in Asahikawa, in November 2020.

At about 100 meters long, the cooling unit is one of the largest of its kind in Japan. It allows for setting the temperature of the ice surface anywhere between –10°C and 0°C (14℉ and 32℉) at a room temperature of 5°C (41℉). The newly fortified facility supports tyre testing of studless snow tyres at reliably precise temperatures throughout that range. In addition, it has given YOKOHAMA new capacity for testing on ice in early winter. That lengthens the seasonal span over which YOKOHAMA can conduct brake-testing on ice and broadens YOKOHAMA’s R&D calendar. The company can thus undertake a greatly expanded scope of ice-surface testing for studless snow tyres, studded tyres, and all-season tyres.

The Tire Test Center of Hokkaido was opened in December 2015 to expand YOKOHAMA’s tyre testing capacity in line with the global expansion of its tyre business, and to introduce more sophisticated evaluation methods. That globalization necessitated increasingly advanced testing of a growing number of winter tyre sizes. YOKOHAMA tests winter tyres for passenger cars and for trucks and buses at the centre. It also tests summer tyres at the centre during the months from spring to autumn. YOKOHAMA opened the indoor facility for ice-surface testing in January 2018 to test winter tyres at precisely controlled surface temperatures.

In addition to the Tire Test Center of Hokkaido, YOKOHAMA operates the Yokohama Test Center of Sweden for winter tyre testing. The Hokkaido test center handles testing for a global portfolio of winter tyres, while the Swedish center conducts additional tests to confirm the suitability and performance of tires to be sold in continental Europe, Russia and Northern Europe.

 

 Profile of YOKOHAMA’s Hokkaido test facility

NameTire Test Center of Hokkaido (TTCH)  
Start of OperationsDecember 2015
Location500 Kamiubun, Kamui-cho, Asahikawa City, Hokkaido Prefecture
Site Area906,462 square meters
Tested ProductsWinter tyres used on passenger cars, trucks and buses (also tests summer tyres from spring to autumn)
CoursesA 2.3-kilometer circuit that includes a 1-kilometer straightaway for testing at speeds of up to more than 100 kilometres per hour on hard snow; an ice track; a snow and ice hill track; snow and ice circles; and a 1.1-kilometer snow-surface handling track that spans a gradient of 5%

 

Profile of the Indoor Facility for Ice-Surface Testing

Building Size119 meters long, 24 meters wide, 8.8 meters high (at highest point)
Total Floor Area2,859.6 square meters
ConstructionSteel-framed single-story structure
Start of OperationsJanuary 2018