Continental ContiSportContact 5: the progress of Black Chilli technology
Continental presented the latest evolution of the ContiSportContact, a high-performance tyre for sports saloons and SUVs. Based on its Black Chilli technology, the manufacturer claims to have enhanced the balance of performances even further. The ContiSportContact 5 will be available from the spring of 2011.
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An adaptive tyre!
Black Chili means a mixture of rubber enabling the tyre to adapt to the road. More concretely, Black Chilli uses the oscillations the tyre is subject to during driving and braking.
During normal driving, the tyre oscillates at a frequency of 13.8 Hz at a speed of 100 kph. The low level of excitation in the compound activates long-chain chemical polymers that prevent the heat energy generated on driving to enter the tyre by redirecting it towards the outside. Thus the tyre cools more quickly, enhancing rolling resistance, and hence the tyre's energy efficiency.
Conversely, during braking the number of oscillations increases considerably. For example during braking at 100 kph, the oscillations are multiplied by 200 to reach 2770 Hz. This variation activates short-chain polymers (due to the use of silica), able to store the energy generated by braking. The oscillations affecting the tyre during braking are converted into heat, enabling grip to be enhanced and stopping distances to be reduced compared to its predecessor.
This technology thus allows for a tyre with short stopping distances, yet with good energy efficiency and low rolling resistance.
On paper, it is true that this technology is really interesting. However, we do have some questions as to the way this technology behaves over the miles. Hermann Rottwilm, an engineer at Continental replies that wear has no affect on Black Chilli technology. To be continued.
To read our impressions on this tyre, take a look at our test of the ContiSportContact 5.
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