Michelin 3S Concept puncture-proof tyre
Puncture-proof tyres are not exactly new, but the 3 S Concept is innovative in offering a revolutionary technical solution. The real innovation is the use of a special polymer enabling the rubber to avail of anti-puncture properties without the need for an additional device. The tyre has a unique rubber compound able to immediately fill a hole occurring in the tread, without causing a drop in pressure.
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This new type of rubber also enables low rolling resistance and good wear while offering relatively low noise.
Until now, puncture-proof tyres used a sticky strip placed inside the tyre. Tyres such as the Kleber Protectis, the Continental Sealant, the Goodyear Duraseal and the Finixx whose secrets we have already presented on this page: Finixx safety tyre: miracle or scam?
At the time, our view of the technology was less than positive:
• Difficulty balancing the tyres.
• The inner layer hardens over time, and becomes less efficient over the miles
• Heavier tyre
• More rolling resistance, lower energy efficiency
• Possible vibration when the tyre is cold...
Pascal Couasnon technical director of Michelin explains that the 3S Concept tyre is technically nothing like the above-mentioned tyres and that this new technology does not have the same constraints at all.
Even if this type of tyre may provide a certain peace of mind, its relevance is limited in Europe where the likelihood of getting a puncture is once every 75 000 kilometres compared to once every 3000 kilometres in some Asian countries. Michelin has clearly stated that by aiming at these emerging countries this technology presents a real advantage for drivers.
Still in the design stages, this solution could potentially be sold with the next generations of tyres.
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