Wednesday, 07 March 2018 07:55

Tyres require no air

Written by  Mark Daniel
The airless X Tweel SSL tyre. The airless X Tweel SSL tyre.

An airless tyre from Michelin might suit agriculture but until now has been available only in North America for industrial applications. 

Soon it will be on sale in Europe.

The X Tweel SSL tyre and wheel combination is non-pneumatic and available in two configurations. The All-Terrain (AT) version has a deep, open tread for off-road use on varying surfaces, while the Hard Surface Traction (HST) option has a smooth tread and 100% surface contact, so is ideal for surfaces such as concrete or asphalt.

The carrying capacity of the ‘wheel’ centres on ‘poly-resin’ spokes, said to operate and behave much like conventional pneumatic tyres but without risk of downtime from punctures or impacts.

Made at the company’s Piedmont, South Carolina plant since 2014, the system is said to be easy to mount. It may have applications in agriculture, especially in animal barns for scraping yards or moving feed or bedding.

Michelin is no longer just a tyre maker, but is moving to dominate the world’s central tyre inflation industry. It recently bought the German tyre inflation specialist PTG and the French tyre pressure control maker Téléflow.

The company says these takeovers mark a new era for its agricultural product line, for example [email protected], which combines Michelin’s new EvoBib ADT (adaptive design technology) tyres with a central inflation system: this enables ultra low-pressure tyre running in the field, then quickly increased pressure for road travel, controlled in the cab by an easy-to-use touchscreen display.

Following three years of R&D, five European farmers will initially test the system, with a commercial launch for high-power tractors planned for next year

The system is said to help farmers and growers optimise the performance of their machines while protecting their soil by managing all aspects of tyres and their interaction with the ground, in the field and on the road.  


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