When driving on non-dry surfaces, the pressure created to the wheel load will lead to a thin film of water between the tire and the surface. The lack of tire-road-traction during winter driving is caused by this film of water that sits on the surface of the snow or ice layer. This lower adhesion causes differences in braking behavior and can lead to less safe driving behavior. Car tires are usually made of rubber, fillers, reinforcing materials, plasticizers, and various chemicals. The tread of a tire consists of channels and structures to penetrate this surface water film in order to create a direct contact between the tire and the road surface underneath the thin water film. This is why dedicated winter tires typically have much more channels and finer structures compared to summer tires. However, the decisive factor is that the tread of a tire is not made of textile. This is where AutoSock comes into play.
Textiles tend to stick to dry snow and ice. The arranged fibres, used for the road contact fabric of AutoSock, facilitate the textile to absorb and ‘wick away’ any water between the ground and the tire, thereby maximizing the dry friction grip. Each thread of the road contact fabric consists of more than 100 fine high-performance fibres, which lead to a “hairy” surface of the AutoSock traction fabric. These “hairs” penetrate the slippery water film and connect the tires directly to the surface (snow). With correct use, AutoSock becomes “hairier” and even improves performance over time.