Purdue University develops 'smart' tire

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A Purdue University professor says he has developed a "smart" tire that can sense damage when it loses air pressure. "Some tire damage is not easily detected," says Gary Krutz, director of Purdue's Electrohydraulic Center.

Krutz's system uses sensors that let drivers know "when a tire condition has degraded," according to Purdue officials. "The sensors also can notify drivers of low air pressure or unbalanced air pressure between tires.

"There are external injuries that can occur in tires that are not always propagated or effected by improper inflation, such as a road hazard like a rock or loose concrete, that can do damage to a tire without actually causing it to go flat. This sensor technology searches for these types of problems as well."

In addition, measurements on the tire's tread can be used to determine vulnerability to tire degradation, says Krutz. "An added bonus of this sensor technology is that drivers can get their tires repaired before the condition has degraded to the point where (tires) need to be replaced."

Purdue officials say the sensor technology works for "all rubber tires."

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