When the wheels become silent

By Marc Bouchard | Friday 30 August 2019 | BlogNews

Like everyone else, you find that your tires are sometimes too noisy. Of course, Michelin or Bridgestone tires are designed for reducing rolling noise. As do most other brands however, but over time, you are getting more annoyed.

Did you know, however, that it’s not just your tires that can reduce noise? Your wheels are also largely responsible for reducing your decibels.

The noise generated in the tire is due to the resonance of the rubber hose that the tire is, similar to the sound produced when bouncing a basketball or volleyball on the ground. With cars, the resonance of the pipe. The vibrations that accompany it are transmitted from the wheels to the suspension and to the cabin, which produces an undesirable and unpleasant noise.

A little research

Some manufacturers have found solutions. At Honda, for example, it has been proven that the resonance frequency of pipes depends on the shape and capacity of the air tank. As the size of the tire is known, the resonance frequency of the pipe can be determined. By generating a sound that cancels this frequency, the pipe resonance can be suppressed.

To achieve this, Honda has designed a resonator that envelops the wheel, generating the same frequency as the resonance of the pipe generated by the tire.

At Genesis, Hyundai’s high-end subsidiary, they opted for a free space at the edge of the rim. This space absorbs the sound vibrations, and decreases the rebounds of the tires, thus lowering the sound in the cabin.

Electronics galore

Of course, there are other more technological methods. A Japanese laboratory has attempted to implant a vibration generator in the rim that cancels unwanted sound waves. To date, the results are inconclusive, the power supply of these resonators being difficult to maintain.

So when you shop for a tire on Blackcircles.ca, read the reviews and rate the number of decibels produced while driving. But do not be intimidated. By buying rims of better quality, you could correct this little problem.

About the Author

Marc Bouchard is passionate about cars... and many other things. He started out as a general journalist and has been working on cars for the past twenty years. We see him on TV, hear him on the radio and read about him everywhere. Often called upon as an expert analyst.

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