Pirelli announces underinflation control devices

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"Original equipment and replacement demand for run flats in Europe and North America increased by almost 7,000% between 2000 and 2004," say Pirelli & Cie SpA officials, who recently unveiled several control devices to adress the problem of underinflation.

Pirelli's X-Pressure tire pressure monitoring system will be available on the replacement market this September.

It consists of a sensor that fits to a tire valve and communicates pressure drops four different ways.

In addition, Pirelli is testing its Safety Wheel System (SWS) on an SUV wheel. The SWS -- which Pirelli had used on motorcycle wheels -- contains a sensor that registers pressure drops. It can be used with both run-flat and conventional tires.

Also new from Pirelli is the Cyber Wheel, which evaluates hub forces in real-time.

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