Brussels, 05 June 2002
'It is surprising that tyre noise generation has not yet found the full attention of noise researchers,' said well-known acoustics researcher Manfred Heckl in 1986.
In the last 20 years, attitudes have however changed, illustrated by the European Commission's support for projects aimed at reducing transport-related noise pollution, several examples of which were presented at the ´Surface transport technologies for sustainable development´ conference in Valencia, Spain on 5 June.
One method for reducing traffic noise is by addressing the interaction between tyres and roads. Wolfgang Kropp from the Chalmers University of Technology is the project coordinator for the ´road and tyre interaction noise´ (RATIN) project. The goal of the project is to provide tools and guidelines for the reduction of exterior vehicle noise due to the interaction between tyre and road.
In the light of forthcoming changes in legislation concerning vehicle noise, the results of the work will prepare the tyre and car industries for future challenges. The main potential in the reduction of tyre/road noise is located in the optimisation of tyre and road properties at the same time. RATIN will develop a complete and physical consistent model for the prediction of exterior and interior tyre/road noise in the audible range.
Heinrich Steven from RWTUV will be taking part in a new EU funded project focusing on a noise calculation model, to be started in the next few months.
'Noise is not only a comfort problem, but also an annoyance problem, and it can also become a health problem,' said Mr Steven.
Current noise perception calculation models do not provide sufficient information for an assessment of alternative combinations, for example of tyre structure and road surface. The microscopic road traffic noise modelling project (ROTRANOMO) will consider the type of vehicle, tyre/road interaction, traffic management, driver behaviour, environmental planning and structural changes in an attempt to develop a more exploitable noise calculation model.
An advisory group representing several EU cities will advise the ROTRANOMO consortium on what research is particularly important, and Mr Steven hopes that the final model will be used as basis for decision making by policy makers.