As the UK government pauses the rollout of smart motorways pending further investigation into their safety, tyre supplier Michelin is highlighting its Selfseal technology which can repair punctures as the vehicle continues on its journey.
Punctures are one of the main causes of vehicle breakdowns in the UK, a major concern should it happen on a motorway. If there is no hard shoulder, or suitable layby, to pull into, this can result in stopping on a live lane, putting vehicle occupants in danger. With 375 miles of smart motorways now criss-crossing the UK, of which there are 235 miles without a hard shoulder, being able to keep moving even when a tyre is punctured offers clear safety advantages.
Michelin Selfseal seals a hole in the tyre tread at the very moment it is made. At the heart of this technology is a thin layer, few millimetres thick, of tough sealant based on natural rubber which is applied to the inside surface of the tread.
If a nail or screw punctures the tyre and the sealant, the pressure inside the tyre immediately forces this tough mass against the foreign object as it penetrates. This stops air escaping from the tyre, and the tyre pressure stays constant. If the nail or other object falls out as the vehicle drives on, or if it is removed, the sealant is immediately forced after it, reliably sealing the tyre.
Selfseal tyres will plug around 90% of all tread punctures with a diameter of up to 6mm that have been caused by nails and screws. Tyres equipped with Selfseal technology don’t need to be replaced prematurely when they have been punctured, so vehicle owners can continue using them right up to the end of their service life.
Together with state-of-the-art tyre pressure monitoring systems and the trend of using RFID technology to network tyres, this solution produces a system that makes driving even safer and more dependable.
For more information, visit www.michelin.com