Yokohama Rubber opens Japan’s Largest Indoor Ice Circle Test Facility at its Tyre Test Center of Hokkaido

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Yokohama Rubber
Published on
February 7, 2023

The Yokohama Rubber Company has established a state-of-the-art indoor ice circle test facility at its Tyre Test Center of Hokkaido (TTCH). This facility is designed to assess the performance of winter tyres on an icy surface, making it the largest of its kind in Japan.

The new indoor facility offers several advantages over outdoor testing sites, including stable and consistent conditions, unaffected by changes in weather and temperature, leading to improved accuracy of test results and more advanced technology development. The facility features a 56m x 56m building with a 12.3m ceiling and a 1,960m2 ice surface, capable of testing turning radiuses from 10-22m.

Inside the Yokohama Rubber Company indoor ice circle test facility.

TTCH opened in December 2015 and has continued to enhance its testing capabilities with the introduction of more advanced methods. In 2018, TTCH opened its first indoor ice track, which was upgraded in 2020 with the installation of Japan's largest indoor cooling unit. The new indoor ice circle test facility is adjacent to the existing ice-surface test facility, allowing for efficient combination testing and further advancement in the development of winter tyres.

Yokohama Rubber also conducts winter tyre testing at the Yokohama Test Center of Sweden (YTCS) for the European market. These two test centers help the company create tyres that are optimized for winter road conditions in different regions.

As part of the company's three-year plan, Yokohama Transformation 2023 (YX2023), Yokohama Rubber aims to maximize the sales of its high-value-added tyres, including the ADVAN, GEOLANDAR, and various winter tiye brands.

TTCH is located in Kamui-cho, Asahikawa City, Hokkaido and covers a 906,462 square meter site area. It tests winter tyres for passenger cars, trucks, and buses, as well as summer tyres from spring to autumn. The 2.3-kilometer circuit includes a 1-kilometer straightaway for high-speed testing, an ice track, a snow and ice hill track, snow and ice circles, and a 1.1-kilometer snow-surface handling track with a 5% gradient.

The indoor ice circle test facility has a total floor area of 3,136 square meters and a steel-framed single-story structure. It started operations in January 2023.

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