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Elham AbolFateh

Automobile

General Motors present airless wheel technology to prevent flat tyres

Friday 07/June/2019 - 09:41 AM
File Photo
File Photo
Edited by: Yara Sameh
The era of punctures may be coming to an end as the first airless tyres could be available to buy by 2025، daily mail reported.

Michelin and General Motors announced the design، which has been in development for the best part of two decades، and says it would require zero maintenance.

The so-called Uptis tyre (unique puncture-proof tyre system) is made from resin-embedded fibreglass and an aluminium wheel.

Its creation has required up to 50 patents to protect the technology and its creators claim it can replicate the performance of current tyres while also being better for the environment، longer lasting and cheaper.

'This is a revolutionary prototype. We have proved that this concept isn't a dream،' said Michelin executive vice president Erick Vinesse at the Movin'On transport summit in Montreal.

'This will will bring less stress and more peace of mind – knowing that there is no longer the risk of finding yourself on the side of the road because of a flat tyre،' he said.

Michelin added that the design could also be 3D printed and would be more sustainable and likely to improve fuel economy.

'The sustainability aspect is critical for the next ten years،' explained Mr Vinesse.

'We have an ambition in the next 30 years to be 80 per cent renewable in everything.

'We need to move towards a more sustainable future where we can provide solutions that have less impact on the environment overall. There's a global benefit for society and everybody.'

GM and Michelin say the punctures and blow-outs will be a non-concern and the inability to over or under inflate them means they will have a longer lifespan.

A series of spokes replaces the usual sidewall of the tyre and it is able to bear the weight of a passenger car or SUV just as well as traditional pneumatic versions.

This was a major stumbling block for previous iterations of the tyre which failed to be as hardy as the tried and tested alternatives.

The revolutionary design will also see the existing wheel replaced with a new tread، preventing the need for an entirely new tyre to be fitted.

This، Michelin claims، will cut down on cost، materials and time for both the manufacturer and consumer.

WHAT ARE AIRLESS TYRES?
michelin has been working on replacing pneumatic tyres for passenger cars and SUV cars for some time.

The technology is already in use for some all-terrain vehicles and construction machinery but mainstream vehicles are too heavy.

Previous versions were mildly successful but unable to deal with the high-speed and considerable mass of the vehicles.

The latest version، called Uptis، is made from a resin-embedded fibreglass and an aluminium wheel combination to make this possible.

Michelin has been in a race with rival firms Toyota and Bridgestone but seems to have taken the lead and says they may be commercially available by 2024.

A series of spokes replaces the usual sidewall of the tyre and it is thought the design could also be 3D printed and would be more sustainable، cheaper، longer lasting، and likely to improve fuel economy.

GM and Michelin say the punctures and blow-outs will be a non-concern and the inability to over or under inflate them means they will have a longer lifespan.

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