If puncture-proof tyres sound too good to be true, that’s because they are, according to one maker.
Michelin has admitted that its previous generation of self-healing rubber left some motorists feeling deflated, as the tyres were prone to poor balance and wore out more quickly than normal ones.
But the firm says that’s all set to change, as its new 3S rubber won’t leave drivers stranded or compromise performance. The name stands for “stable, sealant, silent”, and the secret is a 2mm layer of viscous rubber inside the running belt. If the tyre surface is pierced, this fills, sealing holes up to 6mm deep with no air loss.
Insiders say previous puncture-proof tyres – including Michelin’s own – performance below par as they used gel sealant, not rubber, to repair flats. “Sealant congeals at the bottom of the tyre and upsets its balance”, explained 3S developer Christian Ludwig.
“Our new rubber degrades no foster than normal and performs just as well”. The 3S tyres are due to be launched next year.