Like all other aspects of motoring technology, tyre manufactures are constantly in search of innovations to help make our lives on the road easier and safer.


Over the years we’ve seen significant improvements in tyre design and performance. This work has also led to advances in tyre durability and overall life.

 

However despite all these improvements, the humble tyre has still been vulnerable to being punctured. But, thanks to a new tyre compound from Michelin all that could be about to change.


At the Challenge Bibendum 2011 in Berlin, Michelin unveiled the self repairing tyre.
Amazingly, the self-repairing tyre can be driven over nails without losing a single gram of pressure.


The tyres are made with a unique rubber compound that immediately plugs holes in the tread, making them practically puncture proof.


Whilst Michelin isn’t the first tyre manufacturer to flirt with the puncture proof concept, they appear to have overcome the issues experienced with previous versions.


The new compound is stable in the sense that it doesn’t “sink” to the bottom of the tyre, which could happen, for example, if a vehicle is parked for a long time.


Consequently, there are no vibrations when this compound is used. What’s more, Michelin’s solution does not impact tyre performance in other areas, in particular rolling resistance, which impacts fuel consumption.


All motorists worry about punctures and the prospect of having to change a tyre in unpleasant or even dangerous circumstances. With its self-repairing tyre, Michelin is addressing the expectations of its customers and will provide them with greater peace of mind.


Michelin also believe that this new technology will have other additional benefits. From an environmental standpoint, the need for replacement tyres is diminished, meaning fewer tyres to be manufactured to cover a given distance.


Second, the elimination of the spare tyre means a roomier interior and, more importantly, a significant reduction in total vehicle weight. The jack and the tyre storage area are also eliminated.


As a result, the car is nearly 30 kilograms lighter, which corresponds to a volume gain of 80 litres.


15 patents have been filed for the new tyre and it will represent an unprecedented technological breakthrough.