Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Self-Regulating Tires Inflate While Rolling

Self-Regulating Tires Inflate While Rolling:

Photo: Goodyear

We all know the consequences of driving on under-inflated tires: faster wear, increased potential for popping, and decreased gas milage. About half of all commercial vehicle breakdowns result from tire problems according to the American Trucking Association, and tires are the single biggest expense for fleet operators. Since 2011, Goodyear has been working on self-regulating tires, and next year the company will begin testing it’s new self-inflating technology on commercial vehicles. If the system can handle the 100-plus psi requirements of big rigs, AMT (Air Maintenance Technology) will likely make its way down to passenger vehicles.
Here’s how it works: A sensor on the interior detects when pressure has dipped too low. A valve mounted on the sidewall opens up, and as the tire rotates, the vehicle’s weight compresses a tube built into the tire’s circumference that injects air to increase tire pressure. Once it hits the optimal psi, the system shuts the valve and the ride proceeds as normal.
Add to this system compatibility with re-treaded tires, and it’s an appealing package, especially for trucking companies. Goodyear hopes that with installation in commercial transportation, they’ll be able to gather data to optimize the system for peak performance on the road.

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