Technology

No more punctures: Michelin and GM promise to release airless tires by 2024

Driving is always accompaniedmany risks. Fortunately, most trips take place, as a rule, without any problems, but there are times when the road really has no luck. One of these real headaches are punctured tires. But thanks to the companies Michelin and General Motors (GM), which announced a joint effort to improve the technology of airless tires, this problem may soon become a relic of the past.

After years of research and development frenchMichelin, one of the leaders in the tire manufacturing industry, introduced a new generation of airless tires called UPTIS (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System, a unique puncture-resistant tire system). Airless (or non-pneumatic) tires do not use sealed chambers into which air is pumped.

UPTIS design consists of an outer treadand the inner rim, between which the soft “spokes” of a mixture of composite rubber and polymeric fiberglass are stretched. Their use allows you to operate tires at a sufficiently high speed.

As the portal Digital Trends, UPTISThis is an advanced version of Tweel airless tires, which the company introduced almost 15 years ago, and now uses it for skid steer loaders. The first variants of such tires had one major drawback - they were louder than regular tires, but they solved the problem with time.

This year at GM's test site inMilford (Michigan, USA) Michelin is about to begin testing UPTIS on Chevrolet Bolt EV electric vehicles. According to the company, such tires will reduce the unsprung weight and increase the range without recharging.

If the tests are successful, then by 2024 GM will begin to offer airless tires for some models of its range of cars as an option.

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What are the benefits of airless tires?

Airless tires provide several benefits.before traditional solutions. First of all, these tires are not afraid of punctures, cuts and other damage, because they do not have a sealed chamber. For the same reason, airless tires do not lose their performance due to insufficient or excessive pressure. All this in turn will reduce the cost of production and disposal of tires, and the volume of waste in their production. Michelin estimates the savings to be 2 million tires per year, as fewer tires will have to be disposed of before the end of their operational period.

Perhaps, thanks to such tires completely disappearthe need for a spare wheel, which in general will make cars easier. In addition, airless tires can have a positive effect for businesses operating with a large fleet of vehicles. They do not have to spend time on replacing punctured tires, which generally reduces maintenance time, having a positive effect on the business.

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