Bridgestone is set to revolutionise the Runflat tyre
Opinions on Runflat tyres are divided. Offering a real advantage in the event of a puncture, this technology also has some usage restrictions that may hold consumers back. Bridgestone is announcing the upcoming launch of a “runflat” tyre with almost the same characteristics as that of a conventional tyre.
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Based on studies conducted by tyre manufacturers, European drivers run the risk of puncturing a tyre every 75 000 kilometres (around 46 600 miles). In other countries where roads are in worse condition, the likelihood of puncturing a tyre is even higher. However, over and above this mileage information, “RF” tyres offer real additional safety, particularly if a puncture occurs when driving on the motorway.
On the downside, the Runflat tyre is heavier, less comfortable, less dynamic and often more expensive than its conventional counterpart.
Bridgestone is currently working on a prototype Runflat tyre with attractive technical characteristics that will soon be available on the market.
This new tyre generation is designed for all vehicles on sale from November 2014 equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), whether fitted with Runflat tyres as original equipment or not. This significant difference implies that the tyre structure will not be as stiff as that of the current tyre generation.
The majority of development has focused on the compound so that it can better withstand low tyre pressure. As a result, sidewalls do not require the same reinforcement as with the current generation of Runflat tyres. The aim is to bring its characteristics closer to that of a conventional tyre.
This technology will be available from 2017 (estimated replacement period for vehicles sold in 2015).
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