The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., has received the Innovation Award at REIFEN 2014, one of the world’s largest and most well-attended tire trade fairs. The award is in recognition of Yokohama Rubber’s innovative tire simulation technology. The awards ceremony was held on May 26, the day before the official opening of REIFEN 2014. Mr Shigeyuki Aoki, president of Yokohama Reifen GmbH, received the award.
The award was presented in recognition of innovative simulation technology developed by Yokohama Rubber researchers working together with a team of researchers led by Professor Kozo Fujii at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the research arm of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The team succeeded in the world's first simulation of near real-scale flow structures (turbulence) around a tire rolling on a road surface and the acoustic waves (noise) generated from these structures. The key technological breakthrough is the realization of a vortical structure airflow around a spinning tire, which in turn enables precise measurement of acoustic waves. The simulation technology opens up potential for new technological breakthroughs that could lead to the reduction of pass-by noise and improvement of aerodynamic performance.
The REIFEN Innovation Award is presented to winners in four categories—Technology & Products; Service, Service Concepts & Process Optimization; Environment & Resource Conservation; and Automotive Service. A manufacturer-independent expert jury evaluates candidate products, technologies, services, etc, on nine criteria, such as environmental compatibility, sustainability, innovative content and safety, and presents the award to the most excellent candidates in each category. Yokohama Rubber was recognized in the Technology & Products category. The simulation technology was recognized as a particularly innovative technology with potential for preserving the earth’s environment and lightening burdens on a vehicle’s passengers as well as the surrounding living environments.