Self-Inflation Device Scoops 2009 Tire Technology Awards
The Self Inflating Tire (SIT), developed by Coda Development, has walked away with the Tire Technology of the Year award at the Tire Technology Awards for Innovation and Excellence 2009, presented at Tire Technology Expo in Hamburg, Germany on February 18. Coda Development’s SIT system is primarily designed to aid fuel economy and safety. As well as benefiting drivers through the elimination of pressure checks and the need to manually inflate tyres, it helps to address the serious drawbacks of incorrect tyre pressure.
SIT is integrated into a tyre and employs atmospheric air to inflate the tyre automatically when a vehicle is in motion. This compensates for natural loss of pressure and ensures maintenance-free, constant tyre pressure over the lifetime of the tyre. Prague, Czech Republic based Coda Development plans to develop the system further into a proven production model in joint cooperation with partners from the automotive and tyre industries.
The 2009 Awards covered five categories: Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year; Environmental Achievement of the Year; Tire Technology of the Year; Tire Industry Supplier of the Year; Manufacturer of the Year.
VMI won the award for Tire Manufacturing and Design Innovation for its MAXX technology, a tyre-building machine that operates differently to other technology. The device is a two-drum machine for radial car tyres that works according to the single-stage building process. It combines a high level of flexibility with a substantially higher output and a better green tire quality, and can build tyres in rim sizes from 13 to 24-inches.
The award for Environmental Achievement went to Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), which has embarked upon a medium-term strategy to start selling tyres containing no petrochemical materials by 2013. In 2008, SRI launched tyres in which petrochemicals account for only three per cent of raw materials, compared with 56 per cent for its ordinary tyre ranges. The remaining 97 per cent consists of oil-free materials such as steel wires, vegetable oil, fibres from plant cellulose, and natural rubber. The 3 per cent petrochemical content will be replaced with natural alternatives to create anti-aging properties.
Standards Testing Laboratories (STL) scooped the Tire Industry Supplier of the Year award. A leading independent testing facility, STL has been expanding its capabilities for the tyre industry. Its latest development has been to add equipment to perform SAE J2452 or rolling resistance coast-down tests in addition to SAE J1269 single-speed tests. This work is important for meeting future international regulations, as well as stringent California legislation.
The Manufacturer of the Year award was won by Pirelli. Research was a key motivator for Pirelli in 2008, with the aim of creating innovative materials and ecological benefits. To progress these aims, Pirelli formed working relationships with two respected research institutions. An agreement signed between Pirelli’s Silvio Tronchetti Provera Foundation and the University of Shandong in China will result in advances in ecological tyre research.