A three-dimensional fracture mechanics model is formulated to study fatigue crack growth and durability in tires. The application of this model in a radial medium truck tire reveals fracture characteristics of belt edge cracks and helps to explain mechanical and material changes in the tire subject to indoor accelerated durability tests. Along with a proprietary fatigue crack growth law, a fracture mechanics based durability analysis methodology is developed and successfully applied to rank durability of tires with different constructions or different rubber materials.

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