MICHELIN has developed a self-sealing inner-liner technology, which it says will become standard on all its tyres. Besides making a tyre puncture-resistant, the French company believes the innovation has the potential to do away with the need to carry a spare or tyre changing equipment.
The inner liner material is not made from butyl rubber but from another polymer. Though the company will not specify which one, it says it is a soft compound that uses a filler with a plate-like geometry to reduce the air permeability.
Unlike other systems, which claim to seal over a puncture, Michelin says its system has no significant drawbacks in service. There is a small weight gain of 500 g for a car tyre and a bit more for a truck tyre as the inner liner is thicker, but there is no penalty in terms of rolling resistance or lifetime.
The company says the value to consumers is especially strong in China and India where tyre punctures are more common than in the developed countries.