Beauchamp, G., Koch, D., and Thornton, D., "A Comparison of 25 High Speed Tire Disablements Involving Full and Partial Tread Separations," SAE Int. J. Trans. Safety 1(2):364-385, 2013, doi:10.4271/2013-01-0776.
Tire tread separation events, a category of tire disablements, can be sub-categorized into two main types of separations. These include full tread separations, in which the tread around the entire circumference of the tire separates from the tire carcass, and partial tread separations, in which a portion of the tread separates and the flap remains attached to the tire for an extended period of time. In either case, the tire can remain inflated or lose air. Relatively, there have been few partial tire tread separation tests presented in the literature compared to full tread separation tests. In this study, the results of 25 full and partial tire tread separation tests, conducted with a variety of vehicles at highway speeds, are reported. Cases in which the tire remains inflated and loses air pressure are both considered. The testing was performed on a straight section of road and primarily focused on rear tire disablements. The driver steering inputs required to keep the vehicle within its travel lane and the vehicle's dynamic response during the events were documented with video and data acquisition equipment. The results from the testing are presented and compared. It was found that the steering inputs required to keep the vehicle within its lane during a partial tread separation were similar in magnitude to those in the full separation testing. These results were also similar to the results of full separation testing documented by other researchers. In all cases, the vehicle was controlled within its lane with minor corrective steering. Figure 1 depicts video documentation and vehicle speed during one of the test runs.