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Recently, the Tire-Road Consortium was launched at the University of Twente. Four research groups at the University of Twente’s IMPACT research institute will develop technology for quiet and safe tires and roads. The Tire-Road Consortium works closely with the tire industry and with road builders in the eastern region of the Netherlands.

The amount of noise generated, wear and tear on tires and road surfaces, rolling resistance and grip, are largely dependent on the characteristics of tires and road surfaces, and on the interaction between them. The other side of the coin is that improvements to tires cannot be viewed separately from improvements to the road surface. For example, reducing rolling resistance (lower CO2 emissions) can result in decreased traction (reduced safety). Furthermore, any effort to optimize tire-road surface interaction must focus on both sides of the story, as wear-resistant tires can inflict a great deal of damage on road surfaces. With this in mind, four research groups at the University of Twente have therefore joined forces to create the Tire-Road Consortium, which will enable them to coordinate their efforts in this area.

Tire-Road Consortium
The consortium brings together the requisite expertise in the fields of tire behaviour, road behaviour, and tire-road surface interaction. The participating groups are Elastomer Technology & Engineering (Prof. Jacques Noordermeer), Construction Management & Engineering (Dr Henny ter Huerne), Surface Technology & Tribology (Prof. Dik Schipper) and Structural Dynamics & Acoustics (Prof. André De Boer). The consortium aims to improve the safety and sustainability of tires and of road surfaces, and to enhance the quality of life of those affected by tire-road surface interactions. It was recently awarded two projects with a total budget of almost 7 million euros. One is the 'Safe Tyres, Save Energy' project and the other is the '
Stil Veilig Wegverkeer' (Quiet, safe road traffic) project. These projects are funded by the Province of Overijssel, the Twente Region, and Europe.

Regional projects
The 'Safe Tyres, Save Energy' project focuses on developing an energy-efficient tire, by making use of innovative materials. This project focuses on the materials used in tires, and aims to develop new energy-efficient materials for existing road surfaces. The participants in this particular project are Vredestein Apollo BV, Elastomer Research Testing, and the Tire-Road Consortium.

The aim of the 'Stil Veilig Wegverkeer' project is to develop quieter and safer roads and tires. This project, which centres around noise and grip on wet road surfaces, is aimed at optimizing tires and road surfaces. The integrated development of a prototype 'quiet and safe tire-road surface combination' is both novel and unique. The organizations participating in this project are Vredestein Apollo BV, Reef Infra, Iris Vision M&I BV, the Gelderland provincial authority, and the Tire-Road Consortium.

Further details
For further details about the Tire-Road Consortium, please contact the coordinator of the Tire-Road Consortium Dr 
Timo Meinders (+31-(0)53-4894360) or Rianne Wanders, +31-(0)53-4892721 (Communications Department, University of Twente).

Link to the website of the Tire-Road Consortium

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