While we can argue that tires have developed better traction, better durability and better strength since they were first invented, at their most fundamental, they have actually changed very little. They are still made from rubber, they are still vulnerable to punctures, and they still need to be inflated. Will this always be the case? Tire World Exports looks at some of the ways in which tires will evolve in the years and decades to come.
Where Are Tires Headed?
All of the world’s leading tire manufacturers are developing new designs, materials and systems to eliminate or, at least mitigate, the inherent weaknesses of tires and create future-proof products. Where will this technology take us? Here are some of the innovations being put forward.
Punctures are the bane of every motorist’s life. Not only do they interrupt our journeys, but they can cost money – for repairs and replacements and for possible damage to the rims and other parts of your car. They are also a potential safety risk: pulling over to change a tire at the side of the road can make you a sitting duck. To get around this problem, tire manufacturers are starting to develop self-repairing tires. Continental has already developed a tire that seals itself, with a viscous fluid flowing around a puncture to seal it off.
Airless and Rubberless!
Even better than a punctured tire is one that doesn’t need to be inflated in the first place. Michelin recently introduced a prototype that doesn’t need to be inflated. Bridgestone has started testing its own airless design as well.
Ever since John Dunlop first patented his pneumatic tire design in 1887, tires have invariably been made of rubber. Rubber is a problematic material because it is fairly costly to produce. It also causes environmental headaches, with tons of tires being thrown into landfills every year. Tire manufacturers are now seeking to solve this problem by looking for new materials. Michelin has set a goal of replacing 80% of the rubber it uses with more eco-friendly materials. Taraxagum, a product created from dandelions, is being tested as the replacement for rubber.
Get the Most Advanced Tires at Tire World Exports
Tire World Exports stocks all South African-manufactured tire brands for export. Contact us for more information.