First shown to the public at the recent Paris Motor Show, Michelin’s new tyres have done away with the concept of the pneumatic tyre and returned to something approaching the age-old solid tyre.

The prototype tyre was initially conceived for particularly tough road conditions in countries like China and India where potholes are the norm. It is also expected to remove the burden of punctures with the associated penalties in time and money.

The Michelin airless tyre is being promoted not only as puncture-proof, but also as maintenance-free that does not require inflating.

The construction of the tyre, labelled by Michelin as a ‘fly trap’ is a radial structure made of high-performance composite materials onto which a rubber tread is bonded.

Daniel Laurent, Michelin director of conception and development said the tyre is made from 115 rings of tough resin laced with glass fibre.

“It remains roadworthy even when shot with a rifle. Tests show it will outlast the average car (150,000 miles), leaving just the outer treads to be replaced periodically. No more pressure checks, no more flats, no more spare wheels,” he said.

No date has yet been set for the commercial launch of the tyre, but it may not be long before the roads are filled with commercial vehicles running on airless tyres.  

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Making cradle to grave a reality

Making cradle to grave a reality

A New Zealand designer is looking at ‘cradle to grave’ design, literally and practically. Greg Holdsworth has developed the Return to Sender eco-coffin, mindful of environmental concerns and “a more natural approach to death”.

Share
Simcoe heads to the US

Simcoe heads to the US

Since commencing his career with Holden as a designer in 1983, Michael Simcoe has been involved in every major vehicle design program Holden has undertaken.

Share, Work
The Australian Design Awards

The Australian Design Awards

The winner of the overall Australian Design Award this year was Sydney based Surf Hardware International. The award recognised the company’s design and development of the H2 surfboard fin, a simple product with an impressive history.

News, Play

Computerised irrigation

A computerised irrigation management system accesses data from purpose-built weather stations around Australia in a unique project, which is providing large cost savings and reductions in water waste.

Rest