Sandia National Labs teams up with Goodyear to virtually test tires

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A major tire manufacturing company is teaming up with Sandia National Labs to test their product.

Sandia National Labs has teamed up with Goodyear to test tires virtually, before they’re built.

"We’re solving differential equations using linear algebra to figure out exactly what’s going on in the tire," said Dr. Gregory Bunting, senior member of technical staff at Sandia.

The team is simulating how a tire responds to different "real-life" road conditions.

"What the capability lets us do is maybe that you would only be able to run one or two of those tests out on a physical test track after you make the tires," Bunting said. " With the virtual capability, we’re able to do many of those simulations and identify weaknesses in the design before we run the tests, we know exactly which test we want to run."

The virtual tests are comparably to physical tests, according to Bunting.

The team believes it’s a win-win partnership for Sandia and Goodyear.

"Goodyear is very interested in being responsive to the marketplace," said Michael Skroch, manager of Simulation Modeling Sciences at Sandia. "We’re very interested in being responsive to national security, and virtual engineering through these kind of simulated tests help us be very agile and responsive."