People say things like ‘there’s no need to rethink the wheel’, but that mentality is never going to lead to progress. Michelin has quite literally done that exactly, and it’s nothing short of amazing. Their new tire is puncture proof- largely thanks to the fact that it has no air in it. While nothing about this sounds like a traditional tire, that’s actually why it’s such a great idea.
No Air and Made of Fiberglass…? How Exactly Does This Tire Work?
You have to set aside what you know about the traditional tire to understand how and why this concept works. A normal tire full of air carries the load of the car on the bottom side of the rubber, which is easy to understand. This new tire replaces the sidewall and air with a pattern of fiberglass material which puts the load of the car on top of the tire. It’s not a confusing concept, but equally brilliant. With no real load or weight on the bottom, it’s much more efficient. It may sound like they could theoretically last forever, and while that is somewhat true, it is not practically realistic.
These tires still have tread which can be worn down over time, but it will certainly last longer. With the load being on top of the tire, the tread will wear at a much lower rate. Another benefit is the consistent air pressure (or lack of). Driving with low or high air pressure leads to inconsistent tire wear and reduced grip. With these airless tires, the pressure will remain constant and will always be at the optimal level, so user error or temperature change will not affect the tire pressure and how it wears.
Michelin is rethinking the wheel (and tire) with this amazing concept and revolutionizing the most important part of any vehicle. Where the rubber meets the road is the most critical part of a vehicle, and it has just been changed forever by the brilliant minds of Michelin. Learn More