The Revolutionary “Tweel” Makes Flat Tires Obsolete!

The Revolutionary “Tweel” Makes Flat Tires Obsolete!Image Source

If you’re one of the many Canadians constantly spending their hard-earned dollars replacing auto tires each year, you might appreciate a recent auto industry innovation that could soon make flat tires a distant memory.

If you have yet to hear the exciting news—Michelin, one of the world’s most prominent tire manufacturers, has been in the process of creating the “tweel” for the past decade, and this innovative concept just might be the greatest solution to flat tires we’ve ever seen! Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about the “tweel,” as well as when you’ll be able to get your hands on a set.

What is A “Tweel,” Exactly?

A “tweel” is an air-free tire—that’s right, you read that correctly! How is it possible? Well, tire retailer Michelin, is still working on perfecting the technology, but the current design features a steel hub located directly in the center of the tire, as well as poly-resin spokes that branch outward to support the treads. Michelin has found a way to combine both the tire and the wheel into a single entity—which, as you may have guessed, is how the name “tweel” was coined.

Graduates of mechanic colleges know that traditional tires rely heavily on tire pressure to function properly. This means that when the temperature changes—as it often does in Canada—tire pressure can either increase under warmer conditions, or decrease due to colder ones. Whatever the weather may be, your tires can potentially become too stiff or too soft and this directly affects your car’s suspension and its handling. With airless tires, on the other hand, temperature won’t be an issue at all.

A Friend to the Environment

Because these tires aren’t filled with air and are puncture-proof, when they do have to be replaced (due to wear-and-tear), the only part of the tire that’ll need to be changed is the tread—which anyone with auto technician training can tell you, is the outer layer of the tire. This also makes these “tweels” environmentally friendly—tons of whole tires are thrown away annually and all of the toxins that are released when they decompose can have a hefty impact on our environment. However, only replacing a small part of the tire like the tread (which has a lot less material), will substantially reduce our driving “footprint.”

Where Can I Get Them?

Though “tweels” have not yet made their way to store shelves, they are currently available for skid steel loaders, as well as several models of John Deere lawnmowers. Prototypes of these air-free tires are, interestingly, being tested on military vehicles as well. Because a flat tire might be extremely dangerous to a soldier and leave him or her stranded, the military “tweel” is designed with durable honeycomb polymer veins that have the ability to function sufficiently, even if 30% of the tire is blown or shot out.

As for when you’ll be seeing these tires on standard cars, there is still no release date set. However, quite recently, Michelin dedicated a new South Carolina factory to the sole purpose of making the “tweel.” So it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that you can expect to be asking your local automotive service technician to switch out your traditional tires for “tweels” within the next few years.

Would you try out a “tweel?”

 

Categories: ATC News, Montreal
Tags: auto technician training, automotive service technician, Mechanic colleges

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