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Summer Tires Tread- types, features, functions

By 28.05.2021Guides

Summer tires are used in high temperature conditions, an important parameter is sufficient stiffness to avoid heat damage. The tread is also different from winter tires, primarily focused on the need to remove water from the contact patch and hold the car when driving at high speeds. Let’s consider the features in more detail.

What is summer tire tread

The tread of an automobile tire is the surface layer of the profile that has a specific pattern. The main purpose of the tread is to provide optimal traction. This ensures a higher degree of controllability.

What summer tire tread consists of.

  • Rib. Located in the central part of the profile. Divides the tread into two halves. Not expressed on some models.
  • The tread block. In summer tires this is usually made in the form of long stripes between the grooves. The chocks are used directly only on mud tires.
  • Slicing (sipes). Not used on summer tyres.
  • Groove or circular groove. It is made along the whole perimeter of the wheel, most often located on the edges of the rib. In practice there might be more than two grooves, especially on high-speed tires.
  • Grooves. They separate the tread blocks. In summer tires, they also perform the function of water drainage from the contact patch.
  • Shoulder. These are the blocks placed along the edges of the profile. They are small or practically absent on summer tyres.

Types of summer tread patterns

Different tires can be used to provide handling in different conditions. Different types of summer tire treads are available to achieve this.

  • Symmetric. The simplest version of the summer tread. Both halves of the profile are the same. Used in the manufacture of the cheapest tires. In general it is universal. May be used on any types of coatings, loses out to other variants by a number of technical indicators.
  • Symmetric directional tread. In contrast to the previous tread have directional grooves, which makes it easier to remove water from the rubber, at the edges the rubber is less rigid. It is necessary to strictly follow the direction when installing the tire on the car. Optimally suited for wet asphalt. Often have such a tread have rain tires.
  • Asymmetric. Here one half of the slope has a pattern more suitable for rain, the other half will feel better on dry asphalt. This approach gives an opportunity to drive a car in any conditions without any problems. It is worth remembering about the need for proper installation of rubber in accordance with the tags.
  • Asymmetric directional. This is probably one of the best options for fast cars. Thanks to the directional and asymmetric pattern it is possible to achieve optimal traction with any road and at any speed.

tire tread patternsTypes of tread by function

In addition to the above, the tread is also divided by purpose for specific road conditions. It is also worth taking into account, it will be easier to choose a tire. Let’s list the main varieties and their markings.

  • A/T. For all roads, usually stands for “any terrain”. Equally effective on asphalt and dirt. The tread is higher than the varieties described above. The sidewall is better protected, it provides more safety when driving on unpaved roads. Can be used on any “uncomplicated” off-road terrain.
  • H/T. This is a highway tire. Also used mainly on highways. Well-behaved on asphalt, not afraid of high speeds. The sidewall has a weak protection. The tread pattern of this type of summer tire is low.
  • M/T. This is a real off-road rubber. It is often called a mud or pneumatic tyre. It is distinguished by an aggressive pattern. The tread depth is rather big. It is recommended to use it on serious off-road terrain. But, at high speeds it is ineffective, the controllability deteriorates.
  • H/P. It stands for “high speed” or “high performance”. This is a classical highway rubber. Designed for high-speed riding on paved roads. Reminiscent of racing variants. The tread height is low, which makes it possible to provide good traction at high speed.

Features of summer tire tread pattern

It should be noted that the pattern on summer tires differs from the tread on winter tires. First of all, it is shallower in depth. The reason is the nature of operation. There is practically no need to provide traction on difficult surfaces like snow, ice. The low tread provides more stability at high speed.

Drainage grooves are a mandatory element. Depending on what type of tread is used, they could diverge from the rib to the shoulders or from circular grooves. This allows you to drain the water from the contact patch, simply by pushing it out of there. As a result, the tire effectively resists aquaplaning.

The central (circular) grooves are also an important element. They provide sufficient directional stability on the asphalt.

On most summer tires, shoulder blocks are practically not developed. The exception is the mud tires. This is due to the peculiarities of the surface. Shoulder blocks are good for driving on snow, mud and other non-solid surfaces. At the same time, they significantly impair handling when driving at speed, especially when entering corners. Therefore, they are almost never used on summer tires.

How to Choose Summer Tires TreadHow to mount wheels depending on the type of tread pattern

Depending on the type of tread, the specifics of mounting the tire on the car may vary. Let’s look at the main features.

  • A simple symmetric tire can be mounted as desired. There are no restrictions.
  • A directional symmetric tire is placed strictly in accordance with the direction of travel. This is indicated by an arrow. On some models, the direction of travel can be determined by the tread itself. Drainage grooves always “look” backwards.
  • Non-directional asymmetric tires require a bit of attention. It’s enough to correctly identify the inside and outside by the marks.
  • Directional asymmetric tires are installed with the inside/outside markings and direction of travel in mind.

Tread height on summer tires

The height and tread pattern have a direct influence on the grip strength of the car as well as the water drainage. The tread height of new summer tires should be 6 to 8 mm. The wear level of no more than 50% is allowed. Answering the question about what is the depth of tread on summer tires, it is worth noting that its minimum level should be 1.6 mm. This is the maximum allowable amount of wear.

For such tires, the main condition for normal operation is the presence of the tread pattern. Reducing the level of its depth reduces the operational characteristics of the product and contributes to the reduction of the quality of fluid drainage. The answer to the question of how much tire wear can be determined depending on the type of car.

The tread depth of new summer tires can vary depending on the purpose of the car. Therefore, answering the question about what is the allowable tread depth on summer tires, it is worth noting that in sports models, this figure can reach 17 mm. Larger tread depths are also predetermined for off-road vehicles.

When choosing a summer tire tread, you should first of all look at the operating conditions. It is primarily a question of the characteristics of the road surface.

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