Increasing Fuel Economy with Improved Tire Design 

With fuel prices rising worldwide, it is more important than ever for drivers and automobile manufacturers to find ways to increase fuel efficiency. One overlooked aspect of achieving better fuel economy is the design of tires, and the tires on a car can significantly impact the vehicle’s aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. 

The Importance of Aerodynamic Design 

Aerodynamic drag is one of the significant factors affecting fuel efficiency, and optimizing the tire design for improved aerodynamics is crucial for achieving better fuel economy. Aerodynamic drag is the air resistance that vehicle encounters while in motion. Every car component, including the wheels and tires, contributes to the total drag. Neglecting the tires is a mistake because they can contribute up to 25% of the total aerodynamic drag of a vehicle. A tire with better aerodynamic properties will consume less fuel and have better acceleration capabilities, higher maximum speed, and an increased driving range. 

The aerodynamic properties of tires, including shape, size, and tread pattern, can significantly impact the drag and rolling resistance. SIMULIA offers a range of simulation tools to help tire manufacturers simulate and analyze the tire’s aerodynamics, including the airflow around the tire and its interaction with the road surface. The simulation can consider various factors to optimize the tire’s design for reduced drag and improved aerodynamic performance. By using SIMULIA in tire design, manufacturers can save time and cost to improve the tire’s quality and performance for a more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle. 

The Importance of Tread Pattern 

The tread pattern is another crucial tire design aspect affecting fuel economy. The tread patterns influence the tire’s grip on the road surface, and a good tread pattern can improve the tire’s traction, stability, and handling while reducing rolling resistance. A tire’s tread pattern can significantly affect the aerodynamic drag, and the details of the tread pattern can be lost during the simulation. 

SIMULIA offers a range of simulation tools to help tire manufacturers optimize the tire’s tread pattern. Abaqus, for example, can simulate the tire’s behavior under different road conditions, including wet, dry, and icy surfaces, to predict its traction and stability. Tosca can optimize topology to find the most effective tread pattern design while considering constraints, material properties, and performance requirements. The simulation can help manufacturers reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel efficiency while maintaining the tire’s safety and performance. Therefore, using SIMULIA in tire design is crucial for enhancing tire design in fuel economy. 


Benefits of SIMULIA’s Solution 

Using SIMULIA to help improve tire design in an increased fuel economy has several benefits, including; 

  • The faster and more efficient tire design process 
  • Reduced time and cost required to test and develop new tire designs 
  • Improve tire performance, including reducing rolling resistance and improving aerodynamics. 
  • Optimized manufacturing process, leading to improved tire quality and reduced production cost 
  • A better understanding of tire behavior and performance under various conditions, such as wet, dry, and icy surfaces 
  • Optimization of the tire’s tread pattern for improved traction and stability, leading to better handling and safety 
  • Automation of the optimization process, leading to more accurate and reliable results 
  • The ability to evaluate and compare different tire designs before manufacturing and testing physical prototypes, leading to improved design iteration and optimization 
  • Predict drag in the early design phase using POWERFLOW’s CFD (computation fluid dynamics) 



As we continue to face increasing fuel prices worldwide, achieving a better fuel economy is becoming more pressing. Tire design plays a crucial role in achieving better fuel efficiency, and the use of simulation tools such as SIMULIA can help manufacturers to optimize tire efficiency and cost-effectively. With the benefits of faster design iterations, improved tire performance, and reduced cost and time, the use of SIMULIA in tire design is becoming more and more critical for achieving better fuel economy and creating a more sustainable future. 

Get in touch today to find out more.