A future SKU: the Michelin Selfseal
Groupe Michelin will be introducing a line of self-sealing tires for the European market in 2015 at the original equipment level. The tires will then be introduced at the OE level in the United States within three years, according to Michelin officials.
The tires were on display at Michelin's Challenge Bibendum this week in Chengdu, China. The company did not disclose what automobile makers were going to use the new tire.
Michelin believes the tires will help OEMs replace spare tires by eliminating punctures in the tread area.
According to Michelin's display at the event, the tires will self-repair a tread-area puncture (under six millimeters) through the use of a sealant material of natural rubber. The material is in a protective layer below the tread area and will not affect speed ratings of the tire.
Two different passenger tires, a Selfseal Primacy 3 and Selfseal Pilot Sport 3, were displayed with the technology as well as a light truck tire. In addition, the company was featuring test drives of the new tires by running them over spikes and then around a short track to show they were not losing air.
The technology is different than what the company used with its Uniroyal Uni-Seal tires a few years ago. -- Greg Smith