(19)
(11)EP 3 725 555 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
21.10.2020 Bulletin 2020/43

(21)Application number: 18888347.4

(22)Date of filing:  10.12.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B60C 11/13(2006.01)
B60C 11/03(2006.01)
B60C 11/00(2006.01)
B60C 11/12(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2018/045346
(87)International publication number:
WO 2019/117090 (20.06.2019 Gazette  2019/25)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 13.12.2017 JP 2017239024

(71)Applicant: Bridgestone Corporation
Chuo-Ku Tokyo 104-8340 (JP)

(72)Inventor:
  • TOMIDA, Tatsuya
    Tokyo 104-8340 (JP)

(74)Representative: Oxley, Robin John George 
Marks & Clerk LLP 15 Fetter Lane
London EC4A 1BW
London EC4A 1BW (GB)

  


(54)PNEUMATIC TIRE


(57) Provided is a tire including, in a tread surface, a plurality of land portions partitioned by a circumferential main groove extending continuously in a tire circumferential direction on at least one side in a tire width direction, and comprising, in an internal land portion located in a vehicle-installed inside half portion to a tire equator plane among the plurality of land portions, a resonator including an auxiliary groove that terminates in the internal land portion, and a branch groove that communicates between the auxiliary groove and the circumferential main groove, and a hidden groove having an opening width in the tread surface that is smaller than a groove width of a groove bottom is provided in at least a part of the auxiliary groove.




Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] The present disclosure relates to a pneumatic tire.

BACKGROUND



[0002] In a pneumatic tire, it is required to reduce noise during vehicle running and improve quietness. To meet the requirement, various tires have been suggested in which vehicle exterior noise such as air column resonance sound (often observed in a range from about 800 to 1200 Hz in a passenger vehicle) generated from a circumferential main groove provided in a tread surface of a tire is reduced by a resonator (so-called Helmholtz resonator) comprising an air chamber portion and a narrowed neck portion (e.g., Patent Literature 1).

CITATION LIST


Patent Literature



[0003] PTL 1: Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2015-171835

SUMMARY


(Technical Problem)



[0004] However, in general, Helmholtz resonator is provided in a land portion of a tread, a rigidity distribution of the land portion tends to be nonuniform, and uneven wear easily occurs in the tread. Consequently, it is desired that the uneven wear of the tread is suppressed while reducing air column resonance sound.

[0005] To solve such a problem, an object of the present disclosure is to provide a tire in which uneven wear in a tread can be suppressed while reducing air column resonance sound.

(Solution to Problem)



[0006] A tire of the present disclosure is a tire including, in a tread surface, a plurality of land portions partitioned by a circumferential main groove extending continuously in a tire circumferential direction on at least one side in a tire width direction, and comprising, in one of the land portions, a resonator including an auxiliary groove that terminates in the land portion, and at least one branch groove that communicates between the auxiliary groove and the circumferential main groove, wherein a hidden groove having an opening width in the tread surface that is smaller than a groove width of a groove bottom is provided in at least a part of the auxiliary groove.

[0007] Here, in the present description, "the tread surface" means an outer circumferential surface over an entire circumference of the tire, which comes in contact with a road surface when the tire assembled to a rim and filled with a predetermined internal pressure is rolled in a state of being loaded with a maximum load, and "a tread ground contact edge" means an edge of the tread surface in the tire width direction.

[0008] Furthermore, in the present description, "the opening width", "the groove width" or the like refers to a width measured along a direction orthogonal to an extending direction of the groove in the following reference state. Hereinafter, it is considered that dimensions or the like of respective elements of the grooves or the like are measured in the reference state, unless otherwise mentioned.

[0009] Furthermore, in the present description, "the reference state" indicates a state where the tire is assembled to the rim, filled with the internal pressure and unloaded.

[0010] Note that the above "rim" indicates an approved rim (a measuring rim in Standards Manual of ETRTO, and a design rim in Year Book of TRA) in an applicable size described or to be described in future in an industrial standard effective in a district where the tire is produced and used, for example, JATMA Year Book of JATMA (the Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association) in Japan, Standards Manual of ETRTO (the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization) in Europe, Year Book of TRA (the Tire and Rim Association, Inc.) in U.S. or the like (that is, the above "rim" also includes a size that can be included in the above industrial standard in future, in addition to the existing size. Examples of "the size to be described in future" include sizes described as "future developments" in 2013 edition of Standards Manual of ETRTO). However, it is considered that a rim having a size that is not described in the above industrial standard is a rim having a width corresponding to a bead width of the tire. Furthermore, "a predetermined internal pressure" refers to an air pressure (a maximum air pressure) corresponding to a maximum load capability of a single wheel in an applicable size and ply rating described in Year Book of JATMA described above, or the like. "The predetermined internal pressure" having a size that is not described in the above industrial standard refers to an air pressure (the maximum air pressure) corresponding to the maximum load capability prescribed for each vehicle to which the tire is mounted. Additionally, "the maximum load" refers to a load corresponding to the above maximum load capability. Note that air described herein can be replaced with an inert gas such as a nitrogen gas, or the like.

[0011] Note that in the present description, "at least a central portion of the auxiliary groove in an extending direction" described above refers to a portion of the auxiliary groove excluding an end portion thereof.

[0012] Note that in the present disclosure, "an extending length" described above refers to a length of a straight line or a curve drawn in an opening center of the auxiliary groove.

(Advantageous Effect)



[0013] According to the present disclosure, uneven wear in a tread can be suppressed while reducing air column resonance sound.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0014] In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a partial developed view of a tread surface of a tire according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a partial enlarged view of the tread surface illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along the a-a line illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view along the b-b line illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view along the c-c line illustrated in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view along the d-d line illustrated in FIG. 2.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0015] Hereinafter, an embodiment of a tire according to the present disclosure will be illustrated and described with reference to the drawings.

[0016] FIG. 1 is a partial developed view illustrating a tread surface 2 of a tire 1 according to the embodiment of the present disclosure. Although partially omitted from the drawing, the tire 1 of this embodiment comprises a carcass including a radial structure toroidally extending between bead portions, a belt disposed outside the carcass of a tread portion in a tire radial direction, and a tread rubber disposed outside the belt in the tire radial direction to form the tread surface 2.

[0017] The tire 1 includes, in the tread surface 2, a plurality of (in the present embodiment, five) land portions 4 partitioned by (in the present embodiment, four) circumferential main grooves 3 continuously extending in a tire circumferential direction on at least one side in a tire width direction, as illustrated in FIG. 1. More specifically, the tread surface 2 is formed with a central land portion 41 partitioned by two circumferential main grooves 31a, 31b adjacent to each other via a tire equator plane CL, an intermediate land portion 42a partitioned by two circumferential main grooves 31a, 32a extending in a tire half portion HA on one side of the tire equator plane CL (in FIG. 1, a paper surface left side), a shoulder land portion 43a partitioned by a ground contact edge TE of the tire half portion HA and the circumferential main groove 32a on a ground contact edge TE side, an intermediate land portion 42b partitioned by two circumferential main grooves 31b, 32b extending in a tire half portion HB on the other side of the tire equator plane CL (in FIG. 1, a paper surface right side), and a shoulder land portion 43b partitioned by a ground contact edge TE of the tire half portion HB and the circumferential main groove 32b on a ground contact edge TE side.

[0018] Note that each of the circumferential main grooves 31a, 31b, 32a and 32b in the tire 1 continuously extends linearly along the tire circumferential direction, but in another example, the circumferential main grooves 3 may have a zigzag-shaped or wavy-shaped extending form. Furthermore, each of the land portions 41, 42a, 42b, 43a and 43b in this example is a rib-shaped land portion extending continuously in the tire circumferential direction, but in another example, the land portions 4 may be block land portions or the like.

[0019] In the tire 1, the land portion 4 is formed with a resonator (in an illustrated example, Helmholtz resonator) 5 including an auxiliary groove 51 that terminates in the land portion 4, and at least one branch groove 52 (in the present embodiment, two branch grooves) that communicates between the auxiliary groove 51 and the circumferential main groove 3.

[0020] More specifically, the resonator 5 of the present embodiment includes the auxiliary groove 51 formed in the intermediate land portion 42a of the tire half portion HA on one side, and includes the auxiliary groove 51 that terminates in the intermediate land portion 42a, a first branch groove 52a that communicates between the auxiliary groove 51 and the circumferential main groove 32a on the tire ground contact edge TE side, and a second branch groove 52b that communicates between the auxiliary groove 51 and the circumferential main groove 31a on the tire equator plane CL side. Alternatively, the tire of the present disclosure may include a configuration where the resonator only includes one of the first branch groove or the second branch groove. That is, the resonator may be configured to communicate only with the circumferential main groove that partitions the land portion on one side in the tire width direction. Furthermore, the tire of the present disclosure may include a configuration where the resonator includes three, four or more branch grooves.

[0021] In the resonator 5, the auxiliary groove 51 extends in the tire circumferential direction. That is, the auxiliary groove 51 has a shape having a length in the tire circumferential direction that is larger than a length in the tire width direction.

[0022] Furthermore, in the resonator 5, the first branch groove 52a is provided adjacent to an end portion 51Ea of the auxiliary groove 51 on one side (in FIG. 1, a paper surface upper side) in the tire circumferential direction, and the second branch groove 52b is provided adjacent to an end portion 51Eb of the auxiliary groove 51 on the other side (in FIG. 1, a paper surface lower side) in the tire circumferential direction. That is, in this example, one end of the first branch groove 52a is opened in the circumferential main groove 32a on the ground contact edge TE side of the tire half portion HA, and the other end of the first branch groove 52a is opened in the end portion 51Ea of the auxiliary groove 51 on one side in the tire circumferential direction. Furthermore, similarly, one end of the second branch groove 52b is opened in the circumferential main groove 31a on the tire equator plane CL side of the tire half portion HA, and the other end of the second branch groove 52b is opened in the end portion 51Eb of the auxiliary groove 51 on the other side in the tire circumferential direction. Alternatively, in the tire of the present disclosure, the branch groove 52 may be provided in a portion other than a tire circumferential end portion of the auxiliary groove 51, for example, adjacent to a central portion of the auxiliary groove 1 in the tire circumferential direction.

[0023] Additionally, in the resonator 5, a groove volume of the auxiliary groove 51 is larger than a groove volume of each of the first branch groove 52a and the second branch groove 52b connected to the auxiliary groove 51. Furthermore, an opening area of the auxiliary groove 51 to the tread surface 2 is larger than an opening area of each of the first branch groove 52a and the second branch groove 52b, connected to the auxiliary groove 51, to the tread surface 2.

[0024] In addition, FIG. 2 is a partial enlarged view of the tread surface 2 illustrated in FIG. 1, and illustrates the resonator 5 and a peripheral part of the resonator 5 in an enlarged manner. In the resonator 5, a hidden groove 51H having an opening width in the tread surface 2 that is smaller than a groove width of a groove bottom is provided in at least a part of the auxiliary groove 51. The drawing illustrates a groove wall of the hidden groove 51H with a broken line. In this embodiment, the hidden groove 51H is provided only in the end portion 51Ea of the auxiliary groove 51 on one side in the tire circumferential direction. The hidden groove 51H extends along an extending direction of the auxiliary groove 51 from the end portion 51Ea of the auxiliary groove 51 on the one side in the tire circumferential direction to a portion having a predetermined ratio to an extending length of the auxiliary groove 51.

[0025] In this way, the auxiliary groove 51 in the tire 1 of the present embodiment comprises the hidden groove 51H, and a revealed groove 51G excluding the hidden groove 51H.

[0026] Alternatively, in the tire of the present disclosure, the hidden groove may be provided in the whole auxiliary groove. That is, the auxiliary groove may only comprise the hidden groove. Furthermore, in the tire of the present disclosure, the hidden grooves may be provided in end portions of the auxiliary groove on both sides in the tire circumferential direction. Hereinafter, description will be made in detail as to the hidden groove 51H and the revealed groove 51G of the auxiliary groove 51 in the tire 1 of the present embodiment.

[0027] FIGS. 3 to 5 are cross-sectional views of the auxiliary groove 51. That is, FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along the a-a line of FIG. 2, FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view along the b-b line of FIG. 2, and FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view along the c-c line of FIG. 2. More specifically, FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a plane of the revealed groove 51G of the auxiliary groove 51 that is orthogonal to the extending direction of the auxiliary groove 51, and FIGS. 4, 5 are cross-sectional views of a plane of the hidden groove 51H of the auxiliary groove 51 that is orthogonal to the extending direction of the auxiliary groove 51.

[0028] As illustrated in FIG. 3, in the revealed groove 51G of the auxiliary groove 51, an opening width W51 in the tread surface 2 is smaller than a groove depth D51, and larger than or equal to a groove width W51B in a groove bottom 51B.

[0029] Furthermore, as illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5, in the hidden groove 51H of the auxiliary groove 51, an opening width W51H in the tread surface 2 is smaller than a groove depth D51H, and smaller than a groove width W51HB in a groove bottom 51HB.

[0030] Additionally, the opening width W51H of the hidden groove 51H in the tread surface 2 is smaller than the opening width W51 of the revealed groove 51G in the tread surface 2. In addition, the groove depth D51H of the hidden groove 51H is smaller on a revealed groove 51G side than on a first branch groove 52a side.

[0031] Note that the hidden groove 51H in the resonator 5 comprises an opening side portion 51Ha having a groove width maintained on an inner side in the tire radial direction (a groove depth direction) in the same manner as in the opening width W51H in the tread surface 2, and a groove bottom side portion 51Hb having a groove width that is larger than the opening width W51H and continuous in the groove depth direction, in order from a tread surface 2 side in cross-sectional view of the plane that is orthogonal to the extending direction of the auxiliary groove 51 as illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5.

[0032] In the resonator 5, the opening side portion 51Ha of the hidden groove 51H has a constant groove width, while the groove width of the groove bottom side portion 51Hb of the hidden groove 51H gradually increases to a vicinity of a middle of the groove bottom side portion 51Hb in a region from the tread surface 2 side toward a groove bottom 51HB side, and then gradually decreases or is maintained constant in a region from the vicinity of the middle of the groove bottom side portion 51Hb to the groove bottom 51HB. That is, the groove bottom side portion 51Hb in this example has a deformed hexagonal shape in cross-sectional view of the plane that is orthogonal to the extending direction of the auxiliary groove 51.

[0033] Alternatively, in the resonator of the present disclosure, the groove bottom side portion 51Hb of the hidden groove 51H may have, in cross-sectional view, a shape (e.g., a circular, elliptic or rhombic shape) in which the groove width gradually increases and gradually decreases from the tread surface 2 side toward a groove bottom 51HB side, a shape (e.g., a quadrangular shape) in which the groove width is constant from the tread surface 2 side toward the groove bottom 51HB side, a shape (e.g., a triangular or semicircular shape) in which the groove width always gradually increases from the tread surface 2 toward the groove bottom 51Hb side, or the like.

[0034] Furthermore, the resonator of the present disclosure may include a configuration where the hidden groove 51H does not include the opening side portion 51Ha. That is, the hidden groove 51H may have a configuration where the groove width gradually increases from the tread surface 2 side toward the groove bottom 51HB side, and the opening width W51H in the tread surface 2 is therefore smaller than the groove width W51HB on the groove bottom 51HB side.

[0035] Additionally, FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view along the d-d line of FIG. 2, and here illustrates a developed cross section along an opening center of the auxiliary groove 51. The auxiliary groove 51 includes a groove deepest portion 51Dp in which a groove depth in the auxiliary groove 51 is maximum, in at least the central portion of the auxiliary groove 51 in the extending direction.

[0036] In the resonator 5, the groove deepest portion 51Dp is provided adjacent to an end portion 51Ga of the revealed groove 51G of the auxiliary groove 51 on one side (a hidden groove 51H side of the auxiliary groove 51) in the tire circumferential direction, and the groove depth D51 of the auxiliary groove 51 locally increases in the groove deepest portion 51Dp. Furthermore, in the resonator 5, the groove depth D51 of the auxiliary groove 51 in the revealed groove 51G gradually increases from the groove deepest portion 51Dp toward an end portion 51Gb side of the revealed groove 51G on the other side (a second branch groove 52b side) in the tire circumferential direction. In the resonator 5, the groove deepest portion 51Dp has a locally deepest groove depth; alternatively, the tire of the present disclosure may include a configuration where the groove depth of the auxiliary groove gradually increases from the end portions of the auxiliary groove on one side and the other side in the tire circumferential direction toward the central portion of the auxiliary groove in the extending direction, to form a groove deepest portion. In this case, it is considered that a portion having a groove depth in excess of twice an average depth of the auxiliary groove 51 is the groove deepest portion.

[0037] Furthermore, in the resonator 5, the groove deepest portion 51Dp is provided in the groove bottom of the revealed groove 51G of the auxiliary groove 51, but in another example, the groove deepest portion 51Dp may be provided in a groove bottom of the hidden groove 51H of the auxiliary groove 51 or provided in each of the groove bottoms of both the revealed groove 51G and the hidden groove 51H.

[0038] Additionally, in the resonator 5, as illustrated in FIG. 2, the opening width W51 of the revealed groove 51G of the auxiliary groove 51 in the tread surface 2 gradually increases from one end 51Ga of the revealed groove 51G in the tire circumferential direction toward a maximum width position of the revealed groove 51G, and gradually decreases from the maximum width position toward the other end 51Gb of the revealed groove 51G in the tire circumferential direction.

[0039] Alternatively, in the resonator of the present disclosure, in developed view of the tread surface 2, the revealed groove 51G may be formed in a shape in which the opening width of the revealed groove 51G in the tread surface 2 is constant along an extending length of the revealed groove 51G, a shape in which the opening width gradually increases or gradually decreases from one end toward the other end of the revealed groove 51G, a shape in which the opening width repeats increasing and decreasing at a constant pitch, a shape in which the opening width irregularly increases and decreases, or the like.

[0040] Subsequently, operations and effects by the tire 1 according to this embodiment will be described.

[0041] As described above, in the tire 1, the land portions 4 (in the present embodiment, the intermediate land portion 42a) is formed with the resonator 5 including the auxiliary groove 51 that terminates in the land portion 42a, and at least one branch groove 52 that communicates between the auxiliary groove 51 and the circumferential main groove 3 (in the present embodiment, two branch grooves of the first branch groove 52a that communicates between the auxiliary groove 51 and the circumferential main groove 32a, and the second branch groove 52b that communicates between the auxiliary groove 51 and the circumferential main groove 31a). Consequently, air column resonance sound generated in the circumferential main grooves 31a, 32a can be reduced by the resonator 5.

[0042] Furthermore, in the tire 1, the hidden groove 51H having the opening width in the tread surface 2 that is smaller than the groove width of the groove bottom is provided in at least a part of the auxiliary groove 51. In the hidden groove 51H, the opening width W51H in the tread surface 2 is smaller than the groove width W51HB of the groove bottom 51HB. Consequently, excessive decrease in rigidity of the land portion due to the resonator 5 provided in the tread surface 2 can be suppressed, and hence uneven wear in a tread can be suppressed.

[0043] Additionally, in the resonator 5 including this configuration, an air chamber volume can be sufficiently acquired on the groove bottom 51HB side of the hidden groove 51H, and hence the uneven wear in the tread can be suppressed while maintaining a frequency band of the resonator 5 in a range effective for the reduction of the air column resonance sound. Furthermore, in the tire 1 comprising the resonator 5, it is hard to decrease rigidity of the land portion 4 formed with the resonator 5 (in the present embodiment, the intermediate land portion 4a), and hence steering stability in a cornering situation can improve.

[0044] Furthermore, in the tire 1, the hidden groove 51H is provided with the opening side portion 51Ha having the groove width maintained on the inner side in the tire radial direction (the groove depth direction) in the same manner as in the opening width W51H in the tread surface 2. Consequently, the uneven wear in the tread around the resonator 5 can be more reliably suppressed.

[0045] Additionally, in the tire 1, the auxiliary groove 51 comprises the hidden groove 51H, and the revealed groove 51G excluding the hidden groove 51H. According to this configuration, as compared with a configuration where the auxiliary groove 51 only comprises the hidden groove 51H, a comparatively large groove volume of the auxiliary groove 1 can be acquired, and hence a drainage performance of the tire 1 can improve. Furthermore, a comparatively large opening area of the auxiliary groove 51 in the tread surface 2 can be acquired, and hence stone-trapping resistance or the like of the tire 1 can improve.

[0046] Note that in the tire of the present disclosure, the auxiliary groove 51 may only comprise the hidden groove 51H. In this case, it is harder to decrease the rigidity of the land portion provided with the resonator 5, and hence the uneven wear in the tread can be further reliably suppressed.

[0047] Furthermore, in the tire 1, the hidden groove 51H is provided only in the end portion 51Ea of the auxiliary groove 51 on one side in the tire circumferential direction. According to this configuration, during rolling of the loaded tire, the hidden groove 51H functions as a pump (i.e., during the rolling of the loaded tire, the groove wall of the hidden groove 51H collapses, to push air or water out of the auxiliary groove 1), and water that enters the auxiliary groove 51 can be efficiently discharged, so that the drainage performance of the tire 1 can improve.

[0048] Additionally, in the tire 1, the hidden groove 51H is provided only in the end portion 51Ea of the auxiliary groove 51 on one side in the tire circumferential direction, and the branch groove 52 (in the present embodiment, the first branch groove 52a) is provided adjacent to the end portion 51Ea of the auxiliary groove 51 on one side in the tire circumferential direction. In this configuration, opposite sides of the hidden groove 51 in the tire circumferential direction are opened in the tread surface 2, and hence the groove wall of the hidden groove 51 is more appropriately easier to collapse. Consequently, a pump effect in the hidden groove 51 described above can be more suitably obtained, and the drainage performance of the tire 1 can further improve.

[0049] Note that in the tire of the present disclosure, the hidden groove 51H may be provided in each of the end portion 51Ea of the auxiliary groove 51 on one side in the tire circumferential direction and the end portion 51Eb on the other side in the tire circumferential direction. In this case, it is easy to suitably maintain the rigidity of the land portion 4 formed with the resonator 5, but it may be hard to sufficiently acquire the groove volume of the auxiliary groove 51. Consequently, it is preferable that the hidden groove 51H is provided only in either of the end portion 51Ea of the auxiliary groove 51 on one side in the tire circumferential direction or the end portion 51Eb on the other side in the tire circumferential direction.

[0050] Furthermore, in the tire 1, the opening width W51 of the revealed groove 51G in the tread surface 2 gradually increases from one end of the revealed groove 51G in the tire circumferential direction toward the maximum width position of the revealed groove 51G, and gradually decreases from the maximum width position toward the other end of the revealed groove 51G in the tire circumferential direction. In this case, during the rolling of the loaded tire, a groove width 51 of the central portion of the auxiliary groove 51 in the tire circumferential direction easily changes, and water that enters the auxiliary groove 51 can be efficiently discharged, so that the drainage performance can further improve.

[0051] Additionally, in the tire 1, the auxiliary groove 51 includes the groove deepest portion 51Dp in which the groove depth D51 in the auxiliary groove 51 is maximum, in at least the central portion of the auxiliary groove 51 in the extending direction. Thus, the groove deepest portion 51Dp is provided, so that the groove volume of the auxiliary groove 51 can be easily acquired. Consequently, the drainage performance can further improve.

[0052] Note that in a case where the groove deepest portion 51Dp is configured so that the depth of the auxiliary groove 51 locally increases in the groove deepest portion 51Dp as in the tire 1 of the present embodiment, it is easier to maintain the rigidity of the land portion provided with the resonator 5 (in the present embodiment, the intermediate land portion 42a), and it is possible to more reliably suppress the uneven wear in the tread, as compared with a case where the groove deepest portion 51Dp is configured so that the depth of the auxiliary groove 51 gradually decreases.

[0053] Furthermore, in the tire 1, it is preferable that a ratio of the extending length of the hidden groove 51H to an extending length of the auxiliary groove 51 in developed view of the tread surface 2 is 0.15 or more and 0.75 or less. If the ratio is 0.15 or more, the rigidity of the intermediate land portion 42a provided with the resonator 5 can be suitably maintained, and the uneven wear in the tread can be more reliably suppressed. Furthermore, if the ratio is 0.75 or less, the groove volume of the auxiliary groove 51 of the resonator 5 can be sufficiently acquired, and the drainage performance can further improve.

[0054] Note that from a viewpoint of further improving the drainage performance while more reliably suppressing the uneven wear in the tread, the ratio of the extending length of the hidden groove 51H to the extending length of the auxiliary groove 51 in developed view of the tread surface 2 is more preferably 0.30 or more and 0.60 or less, and further preferably 0.35 or more and 0.55 or less.

[0055] Note that in the tire of the present disclosure, it is preferable that the opening width of the hidden groove 51H of the auxiliary groove 51 in the tread surface 2 is 0.2 mm or more and 1.0 mm or less. If the opening width is 0.2 mm or more, it is easy to extract a mold to mold the hidden groove 51H of the auxiliary groove 51 during manufacturing of the tire. If the opening width is 1.0 mm or less, it is easy to close the auxiliary groove 51 at an opening end of the hidden groove 51H during ground contact of the tire. Furthermore, the groove walls that partition the hidden groove 51H support each other, and hence the rigidity of the intermediate land portion 42a formed with the resonator 5 (especially, shearing rigidity) can be more suitably maintained.

[0056] Furthermore, it is preferable that in the tire of the present disclosure, a groove depth (a length along a normal line direction of the tread surface T) D51Ha of the opening side portion 51Ha of the hidden groove 51H of the auxiliary groove 51 is 1.0 mm or more and 4.0 mm or less. If the groove depth is 1.0 mm or more, rigidity in the opening side portion 51Ha can be more suitably acquired. Furthermore, if the groove depth is 4.0 mm or less, a groove depth D51Hb of the groove bottom side portion 51Hb is sufficiently provided, and the groove volume of the auxiliary groove 51 can be easily acquired.

[0057] Additionally, in the tire 1 according to the present embodiment, a plurality of resonators 5 described above are arranged in the intermediate land portion 42a via an equal space in the tire circumferential direction. Consequently, the air column resonance sound can be reduced in the tire circumferential direction, and the uneven wear in the tread can be suppressed.

[0058] Note that in the illustrated example, the resonator 5 described above is provided only in the intermediate land portion 42a, but in the tire of the present disclosure, the resonator 5 described above may be provided also in the other land portion 4. In this case, the air column resonance sound in the other circumferential main groove 3 with which the resonator 5 communicates is also reduced, and hence a sum of the air column resonance sound generated in the tire can be reduced.

[0059] Here, in the vehicle-installed inside half portion HA, it is preferable that a ground contact width of the internal shoulder land portion 43a (a tire widthwise distance between ground contact ends of a contact patch when the tire is mounted to an applicable rim, filled with a prescribed internal pressure, and loaded with a maximum load) is smaller than a ground contact width of the internal intermediate land portion 42a.

[0060] Furthermore, in the vehicle-installed outside half portion HB, it is preferable that a ground contact width of the external shoulder land portion 43b is smaller than a ground contact width of the external intermediate land portion 42b.

[0061] Additionally, in case where the central land portion 41 is formed as in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, it is preferable that a ground contact width of the central land portion 41 is minimum among the plurality of land portions.

[0062] In the present disclosure, it is preferable that the groove width of the internal circumferential main groove 32a located on an outermost side in the tire width direction is maximum among the plurality of circumferential main grooves. This is because it is easy to increase a ground contact length on a vehicle-installed inside during running, and such easiness noticeably contributes to a hydroplaning performance and can therefore effectively improve the hydroplaning performance.

[0063] In the present disclosure, for an edge length per unit area in the tire width direction, it is preferable that an edge length per unit area of the external shoulder land portion 43b in the tire width direction is larger than an edge length per unit area of the internal shoulder land portion 43a in the tire width direction.

[0064] Furthermore, for the edge length per unit area in the tire width direction, it is preferable that an edge length per unit area of the external intermediate land portion 42b in the tire width direction is larger than an edge length per unit area of the internal intermediate land portion 42a in the tire width direction.

[0065] Additionally, for an edge length per unit area in the tire circumferential direction, it is preferable that an edge length per unit area of the internal shoulder land portion 43a in the tire circumferential direction is larger than an edge length per unit area of the external shoulder land portion 43b in the tire circumferential direction.

[0066] This is because the ground contact length can be optimized, the performance of the resonator can be more effectively exhibited, and quietness can be further improved.

EXAMPLES



[0067] Hereinafter, examples of the present disclosure will be described, but the present disclosure is not limited to the following examples.

[0068] Example Tire and Comparative Example Tire (both had a tire size of 215/55R17) were experimentally produced under specifications illustrated in Table 1, and reduction effect of air column resonance sound (quietness) and uneven wear resistance were evaluated.

[0069] Example Tire 1 has a tread pattern illustrated in FIG. 1, and comprises a resonator illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5.

[0070] Comparative Example Tire 1 is a tire similar to Example Tire 1 except that the tire does not comprise a resonator in a land portion.

[0071] Comparative Example Tire 2 is a tire similar to Example Tire 1 except that the tire comprises a conventional resonator in a land portion (does not include a hidden groove in an auxiliary groove).

[0072] Example Tire 2 is a tire similar to Example Tire 1 except that an auxiliary groove of a resonator only comprises a hidden groove.

[0073] Example Tire 3 is a tire similar to Example Tire 1 except that a hidden groove of an auxiliary groove of a resonator is provided in a central portion of the auxiliary groove.

[0074] Example Tire 4 is a tire similar to Example Tire 1 except that a hidden groove is provided in each end portion of an auxiliary groove in a tire circumferential direction.

[0075] Example Tire 5 is a tire similar to Example Tire 1 except that a branch groove is not provided adjacent to one end portion of an auxiliary groove in a tire circumferential direction.

[0076] Example Tire 6 is a tire similar to Example Tire 1 except that a shape of a revealed groove in a tread surface is rectangular.

[0077] Example Tire 7 is a tire similar to Example Tire 1 except that the tire does not include a groove deepest portion in an auxiliary groove.

[0078] Example Tire 8 is a tire similar to Example Tire 1 except that a groove deepest portion in an auxiliary groove is formed so that a groove depth of the auxiliary groove gradually increases.

[0079] Each of Example Tires 9 to 12 is a tire similar to Example Tire 1 except that a ratio of an extending length of a hidden groove to an extending length of an auxiliary groove is different.

(Reduction Effect of Air Column Resonance Sound)



[0080] Each sample tire was assembled to a rim 7.5J to form a tire wheel. When the tire was applied with an air pressure of 230 kPa (an equivalent pressure) and a tire load of 4.46 kN and was run at a speed of 80 km/h on an indoor drum test machine, tire side sound was measured on conditions determined in accordance with JASO C606 standards. Then, a partial overall value in a 1/3 octave center frequency 800-1000-1250 Hz band was computed, and air column resonance sound was calculated. Table 1 illustrates the results with a reduction amount (%) of the air column resonance sound to Comparative Example Tire 1. A larger percentage indicates a larger reduction amount of the air column resonance sound.

(Uneven Wear Resistance)



[0081] Each sample tire was assembled to a rim 7.5J to form a tire wheel, and the tire was applied with an air pressure of 230 kPa (an equivalent pressure) and a tire load of 4.46 kN, and was run as much as 10000 km at a speed of 80 km/h on an indoor drum test machine. Afterward, a worn state of a tread surface was visually confirmed. Table 1 illustrates the results. An uneven wear resistance of Comparative Example Tire 1 evaluated by an uneven wear amount was regarded as 1, and evaluation in five stages was performed. A larger numeric value indicates more excellency in uneven wear resistance.

(Drainage Performance)



[0082] Each sample tire was assembled to a rim (7.5J) to form a wheel, and the tire was filled with an air pressure of 230 kPa (an equivalent pressure) and installed in a passenger vehicle. Afterward, the vehicle accelerated from a slow state in an evaluation course where water was sprayed over a paved road surface until a water depth reached 7 mm, and a vehicle speed when a slip rate of the tire reached 10% (a speed when the tire span on water) was obtained, to evaluate a drainage performance (an anti-hydroplaning performance). Table 1 illustrates the results. The drainage performance of Comparative Example Tire 1 by the above vehicle speed was regarded as 100, and drainage performances of the other tires were indexed and evaluated. A larger numeric value indicates more excellency in drainage performance.
[Table 1]
 Presence of resonatorRatio of extending length of hidden groove to extending length of auxiliary groove (%)Position of hidden groove in auxiliary groovePosition of branch groove to auxiliary grooveShape of revealed grooveShape of groove deep portionQuietness (air column resonance sound reduction amount (dB))Reduction amount (%)Uneven wear resistance (INDEX)Drainage performance (INDEX)
Example Tire 1 Present 45 One side end portion Both side end portions Almost rhombic Local 1.5 -29% 7 107
Comparative Example Tire 1 None - - - - - 0 0% 10 100
Comparative Example Tire 2 Present 0 - Both side end portions Almost parallelogram - 1.5 -29% 2 105
Example Tire 2 Present 100 One side end portion Both side end portions Almost rhombic Local 1.5 -29% 8 101
Example Tire 3 Present 45 Central portion Both side end portions Almost rhombic Local 1.5 -29% 6 105
Example Tire 4 Present 90 Both side end portions Both side end portions Almost rhombic Local 1.5 -29% 8 102
Example Tire 5 Present 45 One side end portion Central portion Almost rhombic Local 1.5 -29% 5 106
Example Tire 6 Present 45 One side end portion Both side end portions Rectangular Local 1.5 -29% 5 106
Example Tire 7 Present 45 One side end portion Both side end portions Almost rhombic - 1.5 -29% 5 106
Example Tire 8 Present 45 One side end portion Both side end portions Almost rhombic Non-local 1.5 -29% 5 107
Example Tire 9 Present 10 One side end portion Both side end portions Almost rhombic Local 1.5 -29% 2 105
Example Tire 10 Present 15 One side end portion Both side end portions Almost rhombic Local 1.5 -29% 3 105
Example Tire 11 Present 75 One side end portion Both side end portions Almost rhombic Local 1.5 -29% 7 103
Example Tire 12 Present 80 One side end portion Both side end portions Almost rhombic Local 1.5 -29% 7 102

REFERENCE SIGNS LIST



[0083] 

1 tire

2 tread surface

3, 31a, 31b, 32a and 32b circumferential main groove

4 land portion

41 central land portion

42a and 42b intermediate land portion

43a and 43b shoulder land portion

5 resonator

51 auxiliary groove

51Ea end portion of the auxiliary groove on one side in a tire circumferential direction

51Eb end portion of the auxiliary groove on the other side in the tire circumferential direction

51Dp groove deepest portion

51G revealed groove

51H hidden groove

52 branch groove

52a first branch groove

52b second branch groove

CL tire equator plane

HA tire half portion on one side

HB tire half portion on the other side

TE tread edge




Claims

1. A tire including, in a tread surface, a plurality of land portions partitioned by a circumferential main groove extending continuously in a tire circumferential direction on at least one side in a tire width direction, and comprising, in one of the land portions, a resonator including an auxiliary groove that terminates in the land portion, and at least one branch groove that communicates between the auxiliary groove and the circumferential main groove, wherein a hidden groove having an opening width in the tread surface that is smaller than a groove width of a groove bottom is provided in at least a part of the auxiliary groove.
 
2. The tire according to claim 1, wherein the auxiliary groove comprises the hidden groove, and a revealed groove excluding the hidden groove.
 
3. The tire according to claim 2, wherein the hidden groove is provided only in an end portion of the auxiliary groove on one side in the tire circumferential direction.
 
4. The tire according to claim 3, wherein the branch groove is provided adjacent to the end portion of the auxiliary groove on one side in the tire circumferential direction.
 
5. The tire according to claim 3 or 4, wherein an opening width of the revealed groove in the tread surface gradually increases from one end of the revealed groove in the tire circumferential direction toward a maximum width position of the revealed groove, and gradually decreases from the maximum width position toward the other end of the revealed groove in the tire circumferential direction.
 
6. The tire according to any one of claims 1 to 5, including a groove deepest portion in which a groove depth in the auxiliary groove is maximum, in at least a central portion of the auxiliary groove in an extending direction.
 
7. The tire according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein a ratio of an extending length of the hidden groove to an extending length of the auxiliary groove in developed view of the tread surface is 0.15 or more and 0.75 or less.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description