Published on May 24th, 2017 | by Guest0
Tire Technology in 2017
It may seem like there isn’t much to change and improve when it comes to tire technology. Also, it seems like tires remained pretty much the same for centuries (rubber, steel, and air). In reality, things are a bit more complicated than that – pneumatics have benefited greatly from a recent technological development and tires are slowly becoming high-tech. Car industry is very competitive and as soon as something new appears on the market – it becomes standard equipment, because other manufacturers don’t like being outperformed.
Pressure monitoring is probably the one of the biggest recent developments in tire technology. It started as a gadget, but now it’s a standardized piece of equipment for high-end cars. The sensors installed inside the tire measure the rate of revolution for each wheel and use it to signal the change to the driver. If the wheel is turning unusually fast it’s probably a good indicator that the tire is underinflated. The system needs to be recalibrated after each tire change or rotation, especially if new tires are of a different size than the previous ones.
Tires need to be changed approximately every 35000 miles because they get worn out and therefore become less safe. Until recently, the only way to deal with this was to remind drivers to pay attention to their vehicles and the mileage. Now, new materials come to the rescue because there’s a way to actually make the tire safer as it ages. Tread grooves now get wider as the tire is worn down, leaving water enough room to escape and keeping the grip firm. There’s also an option for slices on the surfaces of the tire to change shape (into teardrops) and compensate for the shallower grooves.
Problems that may come up with wheels and rims are usually more serious than the tire-related ones. For safety precautions, it’s best to contact alloy wheel repair specialists and schedule regular check-ups. The biggest changes that happened in rim technology are related to materials and ways to make them more firm, while allowing the wheels to remain flexible and not overweight the car. This is accomplished by introducing carbon fiber wheels that are much better at absorbing impact and therefore work better in off-road envelopment. Monoblock wheels are also becoming more popular. They can be designed for a specific car and with specific road conditions in mind.
Truck drivers need to have precise information about the weight of their vehicle and load. This is partly because there are clear regulations about this issue and partly because the safety of the driver and everyone else on the road depends on it. Latest tire technology makes this effortless and safe. The sensors within the tires use wireless technology to measure the precise weight of the vehicle and alert the driver about it. Based on this information, the driver can change the tire pressure or just lighten their load.
Long shot ideas
All of the previous technologies make small adjustments in the way tires used to be made. They are all greatly beneficial, but neither one of them isn’t really thinking outside the box. On the other hand, the concept of airless tires is something that isn’t actually available, but it will be groundbreaking if it ever comes to life. Scientists from South Korea are working on iFlex tires that aren’t inflated, but still have the texture and durability of traditional tires. At this point, vehicles using these tires can’t reach the same speeds as the ones with traditional pneumatics, but it’s still work in progress.
New materials, new manufacturing methods, and sensor technology are revolutionizing the way tires are perceived and used. So-called smart tires will make driving safer and more comfortable and the improvements will probably keep on coming.