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Continental make tyres quieter with ContiSilent rubber

Cars are pretty noisy places to be, even when you turn off the stereo, air conditioning and anything else that bleeps, hums or sings.

Fortunately, tyre maker Continental has just revealed a new set of rubbers designed to keep your journeys as quiet as can be. Known as ContiSilent, these specially-fabricated tyres will reportedly decrease tyre noise – the sound created by the friction of rubber on tarmac – inside your car by 9dB.

9dB may not sound like a lot (a quiet-ish conversation registers about 30dB). But science tells us that, while a decrease or increase of 3dB would be difficult to hear even in isolation, a 10dB increase would sound roughly twice as loud as before and that a difference of 3dB would actually double the amount of external noise a tyre makes.

The ContiSilent tyres reduce the sound of friction by using a foam coating bonded to the inside of the tread of a tyre after it has been produced. Because foam is particularly good at suppressing sound waves, noise is reduced regardless of the surface.

Continental says the sound-deadening process has “no alteration” on braking, handling or wet weather performance ─ so you should stop just as quickly and corner just as effectively as before.

Audi will be the first car manufacturer to use ContiSilent tyres, sticking them on the RS 6 Avant, A8 and RS 7 Sportback. Drivers will be able to tell the difference between a standard tyre and a ContiSilent via an additional RO1 marking located on a tyre’s sidewall.

Those who fancy a quieter drive will be pleased to know the tyres will work with the “standard rims and fitting process.”

This is not the first time tyres have been used to reduce road noise. Back in May 2013 we reported on rubber being shredded and added to asphalt as part of a new mix of tarmac, reducing road noise for drivers and residents by as much as 25 per cent and giving new lease of life to the 480,000 tonnes of tyres thrown onto landfill sites.

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