Runflat tires: many pumped up about them
(BPT) - The last thing any driver wants is a flat tire. It’s also the last thing tire manufacturers want to happen. Even though tires are a lot more high-tech than the average consumer imagines, tire makers are well aware that flats can deflate the public’s opinion of a tire. That’s why tire engineers have been working overtime to make tires stronger and more resistant to road hazards. Unfortunately, though, sometimes the nasty nail in the road still wins … until now, thanks to runflat tires.
“A runflat tire is essentially designed to carry the load of the vehicle when the tire’s punctured and enables the vehicle to continue to be driven at a reduced speed for a limited distance,” says Andrew Briggs, director of product planning for Yokohama Tire Corporation, makers of a variety of truck and car tires, including runflats. “Thanks to runflats, consumers can have peace of mind and don’t have to worry about being stranded on the road because of a flat tire.”
Although runflats have been around since the 1990s, the technology has taken quantum leaps in the last few years, says Briggs. “For example, our AVID ENVigor ZPS (Zero Pressure System) delivers high-performance and security. Because of the tire’s reinforced sidewall, it can be driven up to 50 miles at 50 miles per hour after the loss of air. In addition to the mobility aspects, there are financial positives as well. If pressure is lost with a conventional tire, wheel damage can occur, which can be very expensive.”
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