Wonderful Engineering

Michelin Unveils Tweel- An Airless Tyre That Will Never Go Flat

A punctured tire can really turn your day into a very bad one, especially those days when you are in a hurry. To save you from this trouble, Michelin has come up with solution to help you avoid those situations by setting up a new plant dedicated to manufacturing airless tires called “Tweels”. The US $50 million plant is said to be the first one in the world to manufacture “Tweels”. It will be used to make Michelin X Tweel Airless Radial Tire and others for both commercial and agricultural uses.

Tweel is the name given to the mix of tire and wheel that was introduced by Michelin as a concept back in 2005. The tweel is comprised of a tread rubber band that has been molded akin to how the traditional tire is affixed on a steel beam, which then acts as a contact path. The hub and the assembly has a multitude of polyurethane spokes that absorb energy and are connected to the rim structure’s inside. This can be further adjusted based upon the load that the vehicle is going to be subjected to and the tread is also customizable.

The Tweel will last three times as long as conventional tires. Unlike conventional tires, the tread can be replaced without having to replace the entire unit, which reduces the wastage of material. In addition to these, the hydroplaning can be reduced as the design doesn’t need to maintain air and can be made to shed water quickly. The Tweel is easy to install, is damage resistant and provides increased operator comfort.

The main focus of Michelin is advanced airless radial tires for agricultural and construction markets, as they suffer significant downtimes due to punctures. However, the performance of the Tweel promises more applications in many other fields.

“Differentiating us from competitors, the Tweel airless radial tire is the industry’s first commercialized airless radial solution and verifies Michelin’s leadership for the next generation of mobility,” Ralph Dimenna, head of Michelin Tweel Technologies, said. “The Tweel airless radial tire enables Michelin to enter new markets and expand its reach in existing business segments within the low-speed application category. The industry is hungry for solutions contributing to productivity, safety and bottom lines”, he added. So will you get one for your car? Let us know in the comments section below