Punture resistant tire
Business proposal | How it works: | The inventor | The patents | Validation of the concept | Contacts





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Summary :

A universal puncture-resistant system intended to protect all types of tires from punctures has been developed and patented :

Its name is the
"SAFEKIT" (TM) system".

It is adaptable to all sizes of tires and consequently every segments of the market in tires (tubeless and tube type) as well as for flexible enclosures such as inflatable boats and flexible tanks for civilian and military applications. The main component of this technology is a flexible and airtight membrane reinforced by textiles.

It prevents 99,99% of all punctures. Thus, it can be considered as a genuine puncture-resistant system providing an unmatched, permanently safe driving experience.

What is the concept of "SAFEKIT" (TM) and how it works :

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Benefits and innovative features of the "SAFEKIT" (TM):

The "SAFEKIT" (TM) system has many advantages compared to the systems and/or products currently offered by the market.

When a perforation of the envelope occurs, the "SAFEKIT" (TM) system prevents - upstream for the first time - any loss of pressure. Thus, it prevents permanently the deflation of the tire, unlike all other "so called" self-sealing systems currently proposed by the market (liquids or solids).

Also, the technologies such as "Run-Flat" tires, self-supporting systems, etc. can possibly work only after that the punctures occur. They are proposed, in fact, by the market only as a short-term solution to allow the driver to try to reach the destination of his journey which even be necessarily the closest possible i.e. not farther than 80 kms (50 miles) and at a much lower speed. Moreover, the driving and cornering features of the car change dramatically. Needless to say that - for instance at night - such relatively unsecured driving conditions cause an important stress to the driver. Besides, in the case of the "Run-Flat" technologies, the punctured tire is finally destroyed most of the time because it has rolled at zero pressure after it has been punctured and consequently it leads the driver to have to replace not 1 but 2 very expensive tires.
Finally it is known, as reported in many press articles, that the "Run-Flat" tires have a shorter mileage, less comfort, increase the fuel consumption, while having a sales price from 30 to 50% higher than conventional tires.

Consequently it is a costly solution !

The "SAFEKIT" (TM) puncture-resistant system is formed of coated fabric (or non-woven) and its puncture-resistant flexible sealing membrane is free to move laterally and vertically along the inside of the envelope thanks to its greater meridian length and a bed of lubricated ultra-light microspheres (or a non-adherent material) that facilitates the lateral mobility of the membrane and even under a compressive force. Thus, when a puncturing object penetrates into the envelope, the reinforced sealing membrane rises and easily takes the shape of the object without being perforated.

Therefore it prevents any loss of pressure of the envelope in any circonstances !

The heart of the concept implies necessarily large quantities of textiles which can be a profitable business opportunity to the textiles industry. Thus, only as an example and arbitrarily, if one takes into account the only market segment of "Run-Flat" tires (product deemed unsatisfactory by users) that corresponds to less than 1% of the global tire market for personal cars (PC) it can be assessed that the necessary amount of puncture-resistant membrane of the "SAFEKIT" (TM) system (for a 1.35 m2 (i.e. 14.53 square feet) an average per tire and for 0.5% of that market segment to a minimum of 12 million m2 (i.e. rougly 130 million square feet) of coated fabric.

- Please note :
One of the largest European textiles composites manufacturer proposes to develop and manufacture such a sealing membrane in accordance with the specifications of the patent. Nevertheless, as they are not involved in the tire business they are looking for any commercial partner such as for instance, a tire manufacturer, a distributor of auto parts or a marketing organization, etc. who could be interested to marketing the products of the invention.
(If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact the inventor for further information on this partnership's proposal).

1) Puncture-resistant features :

As mentionned previously, the main component of the "SAFEKIT" (TM) system is a perforation-resistant flexible airtight membrane made of coated textile.
This sealing membrane is free to move laterally and vertically because it is not attached to the inside of the tire but only attached to its remote edges. In other words, it has a capacity to rise, that is to say to move in both directions (horizontal and vertical). When a foreign object penetrates the tread of the tire, the reinforced and flexible sealing membrane easily takes the shape of the object without to be perforated and moves simultaneously along with the penetrating object and thus is not perforated. This prevents any loss of pressure of the envelope and therefore it ensures the permanency of the pneumatic function of the wheel in all circumstances.

As the sealing membrane is not attached to the inside of the tire and thanks to its extra meridian length it can fit the penetrating object without being perforated.
Made of high tenacity fibers, the coated fabric of the sealing membrane, has a high resistance to perforation and tearing. Further, it is made airtight thanks to special thin films coated or applied by a calendering operation and having very high gas barrier properties to ensure the permanency of the pneumatic function of the wheel even should perforations or large cuts of the outer layers of the casing occur.

The sealing membrane is held in place onto the inner faces of the envelope thanks to highly adhesive and cohesive airtight bands or by any molding methods. In fact, the internal pressure of the tire enhances the adhesion and sealing of the assembly. Moreover, the sealing membrane is resting onto a bed of ultra-light (D<1) and pressure-resistant lubricated microspheres or on other non-adherent materials such as (but not only) PTFE, PU, a dry lubricant (graphite), etc.

This allows the sealing membrane to move laterally with ease, and its only resistance to move is directly in relation with its very low friction coefficient, which is almost similar to the friction coefficient of the ball bearings. For instance, and more precisely, for a tire having an inflation pressure of roughly 2.5 bars (i.e.36 psi) this results in a total friction resistance of 0.1 to 1.75 N which is very low (static friction of 0.05 to 0.5N + dynamic friction of 0.05 to 1.25N).

2) Blowout protection :

The "SAFEKIT" (TM) system avoids the potentially dramatic consequences of a tire blowout : In case of a blowout due to a large incision of the sidewall of the tire, the flexible sealing membrane is pushed by the internal pressure to the outside of the sidewall of the tire, due to its extra meridian length.

Thus, it has been calculated that, under the most extreme conditions such as a 100% circumferential cut of the sidewall of the tire of a PC vehicle, (which is in fact, an improbably circumstance), that the maximum loss of pressure would be of 12% which corresponds to an effective loss of pressure of 0,34 bars (5 psi) compared to the initial tire pressure of 2,8 bars (40 psi). This is very small loss compared to the initial tire pressure, and guaranties continued safe driving in the event of a tire blowout.

3) Additional information :

Other systems currently in use do not work with perforations caused by objects greater than - 4 mm (1/6 of inch). Therefore, in most cases they do not provide comprehensive protection to maintain the pressure of the punctured tire. Moreover, their implementation is not very easy and practical. Also, depending on the angle of penetration of the puncturing object, current products offered on the market are simply ineffective.

The "SAFEKIT" (TM) system forms an additional gas-barrier, and this feature has the positive consequence, for the frequent cases in which drivers are unconcerned about proper tire pressure, of contributing to maintaining the recommended pressure for a car. Proper tire pressure is an important factor in fuel consumption and a safe driving.

"SAFEKIT" (TM) system is a universal system and, as such, it can be fitted in all sizes of conventional tires, new or even used, in both tubeless or tube type tires. There are 2 main ways to implement and use the "SAFEKIT" (TM) system : Either as an independant kit marketed by the distributors network or already included in the tire by the tire manufacturers.

The "SAFEKIT" (TM) system can be fitted in a "Run-Flat" tire after it has been punctured, thus allowing the driver to save money because he won't have to replace, not 1 but 2 new costly tires. Nevertheless, this is only possible after the punctured "Run-Flat" tire has been previously seriously controlled as suitable for use (for instance if it has not rolled at zero pressure on too long a distance). This advantage provided by the "SAFEKIT" (TM) system will be surely appreciated by the owners of PC cars equipped with "Run-Flat" tires...

Also the "SAFEKIT" (TM) system can be fitted on new vehicles or those already in operation. This opens up the after-market segment (70% of the global market) to the OEM suppliers. Thus, all segments of the market are accessible for this system (including retreated tires).

The "SAFEKIT" (TM) system is a lighter weight solution than most current systems dedicated to protecting flexible enclosures against punctures and blowouts.

The "SAFEKIT" (TM) system causes no change in wheel balance or rolling vibration.

"SAFEKIT" (TM) system provides protection which is completely resistant to all types of punctures, thus insuring the continued pneumatic functioning of the tire in all circumstances.

"SAFEKIT" (TM) system does not change the road-holding or other aspects of handling.

Vehicle comfort is not altered, and the system requires no modification of vehicle suspension, as it is the case with other "Run-Flat" technologies.

No special device is required for the installation or the removal of the "SAFEKIT" (TM) system.

The use of the "SAFEKIT" (TM) system allows car makers to eliminate spare wheels.

The "SAFEKIT" (TM) system, in addition to its puncture-resistance, retains air longer than conventional tires due to its addition of an airtight, coated sealing membrane which is, in fact, an additional efficient gas-barrier.

The "SAFEKIT" (TM) system, provides unmatched driving safety in all circumstances because it avoids any change in driving conditions due to loss of pressure. There is no loss of pressure even should severe perforations as deep as 7/8 cm (3 inches) or cuts as large as 5/7 cm, (2 to 3 inches) of the tires occur, the only limit being a destruction of the architecture of the tire itself. The driver can retain the original speed of the vehicle even in cases of an incision of the sidewalls or punctures of the tire. Other current products require immediatly stopping the vehicle, which is not always possible and is dangerous depending upon the location and the circumstances (for example at night...)

The cost of the SAFEKIT system (TM) is in line with the targeted market segments.

Latest news & Updates : :

July 7, 2010 - European patent issued,

July 9 and 12, 2010 - Validation tests "on the road",

Nov. 26, 2010 - French patent issued,

Dec. 21, 2010 - Innovative project eligible for Government subsidies,

July 14, 2011 - Russian Federation patent issued,

Dec. 21, 2011 - People's Rep. of China patent issued,

Aug. 14, 2012 - U.S. patent issued,

Sep. 21, 2012 - Hong-Kong patent issued,

May 16, 2014 - Japan patent issued,

Apr. 28, 2015 - Canadian patent issued,

June 17, 2015 - Interview French magazine «PNEUMATIQUE»
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