Test World has started ice grip evaluation for customers at its facility in Ivalo, Northern Finland, ahead of May's introduction of new European tyre labelling.

The existing 3PMSF 'snowflake' symbol indicates a tyre is suitable for both Central Europe and Nordic countries, but Test World maintains "in reality," the technical demands of the two markets are very different.

Nordic winter conditions are typically far harsher than in Central Europe, with more snow and ice on the roads. The new Ice Grip symbol has therefore been developed to help motorists determine the suitability of tyres for different winter conditions.

Test World's indoor test facility is able to conduct year-round ice grip testing in a controllable environment.

"The European Ice Grip symbol has been a long time coming for the tyre sector," said Test World technical director, Jukka Antila.

"Until this year, there has been no official way for manufacturers to identify tyres that are suitable for the snowier and icier conditions of the Nordic winter.

"Test World is able to offer an end-to-end solution, allowing customers to send their tyres to our facility safe in the knowledge that our team of experienced engineers will conduct the testing to the required standard".

Test World's parent company, Millbrook, is merging with French company, UTAC CERAM.

Test World's year-round snow and ice testing will be complemented by the UTAC CERAM Millbrook laboratory tests and soon-to-be opened proving ground in Morocco.