What makes a Blizzak WS70 winter tire work?

Friday, August 20, 2010 by Mac McNabb
The Blizzak Studless Ice and Snow tire line has been synonymous with ICE traction. Why do some tires do better on ICE than others? There are three things that make a tire work on any given surface:
  1. Tread Design
  2. Void Area
  3. Tread Compound 
Firestone WinterforceCompare the Firestone Winterforce tire to the Blizzak WS70. A great tread design. Check. A void area consistent with winter tires. Check. Rubber compound?

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
This is where the "rubber" hits the ice so to speak.

The Firestone tires are designed for colder temperatures, but they do not incorporate a special ice compound. The Blizzak WS70 has rubber compounding that is designed for ICE. When your tire rotates on th ice, it melts the ice and creates a layer of water between the rubber and the ice. The Blizzak has a tubular multicell compound that looks like Swiss cheese under a microscope to allows water to "wick" into the tread so the rubber can make contact with the ice.
 
That is how you do it! Every major tire manufacturer has attempted to replicate this method, some better than others.  The point though, is that a Studless Ice and Snow tire is specifically for ice. They provide the most traction for the worst situations! See what is available for your vehicle.

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