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Road Hazard Impacts: Their Effect on Radial Tires and the Forensic Signs They Leave Behind


Vandy Price
Senior Technical Advisor
Michelin, North America

Presentation Summary

Road Hazard Impacts:  Their effect on radial tires and the forensic signs they leave behind

Tire impacts with road hazards have long been known to cause tire disablements. In some cases, the failure occurs instantaneously in the form of a blow-out. In others, the tire’s structure is damaged, and the disablement occurs hundreds or even thousands of miles later. It is often desirable to conduct a forensic examination of a failed tire to determine the ultimate cause of disablement.

The examination of a tire that has become unserviceable due to impact may expose a variety of signs of the impact depending on the evidence that remains. These forensic signs also point to conditions that exist on the damaged tire prior to failure. The ability to recreate tire damage in the lab was developed and published to a great extent in the prior decade.

This presentation brings to light a previously unpublished cache of 24 impact tests conducted under a variety of conditions on new and used tires. Tire types include passenger, light truck, and heavy truck. The resulting tread detachments at the location of impact during road wheel tests and subsequent examinations provide clues to the forensic signs that may be available to an examiner after an in-service failure.

Meet the Presenter

Vandy Price is a Senior Technical Advisor with Michelin, NA in Greenville, SC.  He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Carolina, 1991, and a Master of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1993.  Over the past 19 years he has held positions with Michelin in rubber manufacturing, tire manufacturing, tire design, and the forensic inspection and analysis of tires.   Prior to joining Michelin, Mr. Price worked as a design engineer for Fluor Corporation and as a process and production engineer for General Electric Plastics.