20 January 2015

Michelin working to consign punctures to history

Puncture problems could soon become a thing of the past when technology being developed by Michelin comes into popular use.

The tyre maker demonstrated the effectiveness of its Selfseal technology at its recent Challenge Bibendum event in China. In that country, motorists experience a puncture on average every 5,700 miles compared to Europe where the average is one every 48,000 miles. Selfseal works when a thin layer of rubber compound inside the tyre surrounds the area where a puncture has occurred to plug the hole, maintain pressure and prevent air from escaping.

Michelin has also started mass production of its Tweel - an airless tyre that comprises flexible, deformable polyurethane spokes that criss-cross between a fixed hub and the outer casing. Production will be confined to agricultural and commercial applications initially.