A large number of changes in the new C tyres

Two new winter tyre models for vans have been introduced in the Nokian Tyres range, which have been developed specifically for northern conditions. Nokian Hakkapeliitta C3 is a studded tyre for vans and the CR3 is the studless version. According to Matti Morri – the manager of Nokian Heavy Tyres technical customer service – the changes are significant in the C tyre family.

What is new in the C3 tyres?

The previous tyre family included two surface patterns within one family so that the smaller sizes had different surface patterns to the larger sizes. The new C tyres now have the same surface pattern on all tyres, all the way from the 14 inch to the 17 inch tyre.

In addition, a whole new stud has been added to the studded C tyre. This is a 4k4k stud, which means that the tyre has a square-shaped flange and body as well as a square-shaped hard metal tip. Studding in the new model is oriented in a way that the sharp edge of the stud faces forwards and thus enables maximising both the longitudinal and lateral grip. This is a slightly modified version of the previous stud. The new stud has a steel body which makes its durable, whereas generally the body of the studs used on tyres for SUVs and cars consists of aluminium alloy.

New steel belts are positioned below the tread. The steel belt wire used in the first and the second steel belt is new. In general, the structure includes (one or) two steel belts and one nylon belt, i.e. three belts in total. The wire material of the steel belts has also been modified and the new material is more flexible. According to our tests, it is also more durable against punctures. The new material also reduces rolling resistance, which means that also the C tyre helps to save fuel.

The bead area of the tyre is the area of the tyre that sits against the rim flange. This is referred to as the clinch component. This mixture is a new addition to the new C tyre and it has enabled better durability to be achieved. At the same time, this new mixture also absorbs sound waves and thus reduces the overall noise level.

Why have these improvements been introduced?

Using the same surface pattern in all tyre sizes simplifies both logistics and the lives of tyre dealers. The new surface pattern is well-suited for both small and large tyre sizes. We have managed to create a durable and safe structure with a single surface pattern, which is the one we will use from now on.

When used on vans, the challenges include heavy loads and careless tyre pressure maintenance, which means that in general, tyre pressure is too low and loads are too heavy in relation to the pressure. This sets challenges both on the durability of the surface pattern and the structure. These factors have been taken into consideration at the design stage and the result is a more durable and stable tyre.

How do professional drivers benefit from this?

The new structure and surface pattern offer improved durability and better stability when transporting heavy loads. This is important, especially for professional drivers who every now and then transport heavy loads. Stability is crucial for them and this is why we improved the steel belt structure and surface pattern quite significantly.

What is new in the CR3 tyres?

The studless CR3 version features a couple of great innovations. It has the same improvements as the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 and the R2 SUV tyres – pump lamellas on the shoulder area. The idea of the pump lamella is that when driving on a wet, icy surface or other wet surfaces, a small amount of water can be stored inside the shoulder lamella. This way the tyre achieves a better contact on the dryer part of the road and the result is improved grip. This is the first time this application has been used in the C tyre in this model.

The same idea is applied in the tread compound itself that we used in the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 and the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 SUV. The new CR3 tyre features the Nokian Cryo Crystal function, which means that when the tread compound is produced, “grip crystals” are added, which are mixed evenly in the tread compound. This means that when the tyre is used, grip crystals continuously emerge on the surface as the tyre wears. Grip crystals enable better grip on a slippery surface. We decided to use this innovation in the C tyre, since the most difficult and unpleasant surface for studless tyres is always slippery ice or packed snow. Furthermore, the tyre features a completely new surface design. The symmetrical and directional surfaces ensure a better grip and cleaning up in snow.

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