French manufacturer Michelin claims to have reinvented the truck tyre. And following development after development over the years, this is no mean feat. According to the manufacturer, Michelin’s new Durable Technologies will offer improved mileage, payload and load capacity including gains of up to 50 per cent compared to “more traditional solutions.”
This enormous improvement is said to be down to two technological families – redesigned tread patterns including patented new siping techniques and improved tyre architecture design using Infinicoil technologt.
Michelin has labelled the tread side of its development “Tread Regeneration Experience” or “TRE-X.” This is based on two patented developments in siping technology. “Raindrop” sipes, are intended to produce a self-regenerating tread design and therefore long lasting grip throughout the whole life of the tyre, while “Double Wave” sipes, offer a three-dimensional interlocking design, making tread blocks more rigid. Michelin claims this second type of siping optimises mileage whilst retaining excellent grip.
The next development is said to be an innovation in tyre construction. Michelin have called this Infinicoil technology so apart from using a single wound piece of tyre cord, therefore avoided overlaps, this means the company is able to develop new tyre dimensions.
The Michelin XDN 2 GRIP, the presented at the new technology’s launch, is the first tyre to use “Michelin Durable Technologies” regenerating tread design. According to the manufacturer, these innovations will offer major benefits for the road transport industry, whilst considerably reducing the environmental impact of tyres by lengthening tyre life.
Michelin is not only integrating these innovations into the design of its truck tyres, but is take significant steps to introduce the new products to the trucking industry. The Michelin Group says it is going to invest 400 million euros over five years in order to do this.
Michelin’s “Raindrop” sipes are so-called because raindrop shaped cylindrical channels are drilled through the centre of each tread block. When the tread is two-thirds worn, the channels gradually open to create new sipes, which are said to deliver excellent grip in challenging weather conditions right until the tyre is retreaded. In order to ensure continued long tread life, Michelin Remix will also incorporate the new tread technologies.
In comparison to its predecessor, the XDN GRIP, Michelin says the new XDN 2 GRIP equipped with Raindrop sipes offers 25 per cent more mileage. But there are also advantages for grip. When the tread is two-thirds worn, it Michelin engineers claim the tyre still offers 15 per cent more grip on snow and ice. According to the company, the effect is even more pronounced in the wet when the emergence of the Raindrop sipes means that the tyre could deliver 30 per cent more grip.
Michelin’s patented new double wave sipes utilise a three-dimensional interlocking desing. By working both horizontally and vertically, the manufacturer claims double locking sipes offer more grip and longer life than traditional tread patterns.
On entering the contact patch, the double wave sipes reportedly maintain their “clawing” effect at the edge of the contact patch thanks to the presence of many ridges. Inside the contact patch the three-dimensional structure limits tread block movement, maintaining optimal rigidity to reduce wear and increase mileage.
In the final FIA GT Championship event, held at Sakhir, Bahrain, in late November, the Ferrari 550 Maranello driven by Gabriele Gardel has been excluded from the final results because the vehicle did not contain the required minimum of three litres of fuel in its tank at the end of the race.
The disqualification (which is being appealed) cancels the points earned by Gardel, so that the FIA GT Drivers’ Championship goes to Michael Bartels and Timo Scheider in the Pirelli P Zero Racing-shod Maserati MC12 of the Vitaphone Racing Team.
On 12 May this year, an exclusive gala dinner was held at Forbes House in London, commemorating 100 years of Michelin in the UK. Special guest at the event was Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, patron of the Transaid charity, which aims to promote mobility in Africa and of which Michelin is a founder.
(Akron/Tire Review) Unconfirmed news reports out of Venezuela indicate that operations at Bridgestone/Firestone’s tyre plant in Valencia have been suspended since last Friday due to a disturbance that apparently involve trade unions seeking to represent workers at the plant.
(Akron/Tire Review) Fred Heigold has been named vice president of business operations and integration for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s North American Consumer Tire Business unit. Heigold will report to Larry Mason, president of the unit. Most recently, Heigold was CEO of Phogenix Imaging, a joint venture of Eastman Kodak and Hewlett Packard. He began his career with Eastman Kodak in 1971, and served in various research and development, manufacturing and general management positions, including several international assignments.
(Akron/Tire Review) As was first reported by Tire Review, Michelin North America (MNA) plans to invest $80 million over the next six years to upgrade equipment and increase capacity at its semi-finished rubber production facilities in Sandy Springs and Starr, South Carolina.
(Akron/Tire Review) Toyo Tire USA Corp has added 13 sizes to its Toyo Proxes 4 ultra-high performance tyre line, including two 24-inch sizes. The new sizes include 275/35R18, 295/30R19, 245/45R20, 255/30R20, 295/30R20, 295/25R20, 255/35R22, 235/30R22, 265/30R22, 285/30R22, 305/25R22, 255/30R24 and 275/30R24.
(Akron/Tire Review) Continental Tire North America (CTNA) launched what it called “the first online financial claims management system” for dealers in the North American tyre industry. The online effort is “designed to streamline the processing of financial claims for CTNA’s business partners and to eliminate a majority of the documentation which was previously submitted in hard copy format,” the company said.
Last month Northern Ireland’s largest independent tyre retailers held a series of ladies tyre safety clinics at a selection of their depots. The nights coincided with National tyre safety week and were run in conjunction with the All Women Together breast cancer awareness campaign. For each of the 100 ladies that attended, Modern Tyre Service donated £10.
(India/Rubber Asia) Simplex is a new and exciting franchise programme for overseas investors to get a head start in the profitable and challenging tyre retreading business. It comes from the stable of Goodway Rubber Industries Sdn Bhd (“Goodway”) which claims to be a market leader and one of the fastest growing rubber technology and rubber compound providers in the world.
Yokohama Tire Corp has resolved the last phase of its patent and trade dress infringement suit relating to Wanli S-1099 tyres sold in the US. It is not clear whether or not the case will have any bearing on the European tyre business and Belgian wholesaler Deldo, the exclusive European distributor of Wanli tyres, still lists the S-1099 in its catalogue. Speaking on behalf of the company, Phillip Delcroix told Tyres & Accessories he was “not aware of any problem.”
Pirelli winter tyres performed well in tyre tests organised by leading German motoring magazines, Auto Zeitung, Adac Motorwelt, Auto Motor und Sport, Autobild, Sport Auto, Auto Bild Alles Allred, Automobil and Promobil. The results were achieved across the tyre spectrum, from uhp tyres to SUV and touring tyres, plus winter run-flats.
Run-flat tyres are becoming increasingly commonplace on the roads of the UK as more car manufacturers fit these advanced tyres as standard equipment or as an optional extra. However, there are still some misconceptions surrounding the fitment and use of this new type of tyre and the Tyre Industry Council has issued the following guidelines.
Goodyear Dunlop is planning a “significant investment programme” for its Hi-Q chain, managing director Dick Johnson has revealed. “The Hi-Q network is an asset and the majority of stores will remain under Goodyear Dunlop ownership. We are going to invest in people, training, marketing and systems and develop a new franchise programme that will complement our company owned stores to create a strong nationwide network,” he explained.
The Tire Society has released an online version of its quarterly journal, Tire Science and Technology. The online journal reportedly includes the world’s largest collection of critically reviewed literature on tyre science and technology; fully searchable journal index, including title, authors, keywords, abstract, and other bibliographic details.