ERJ staff report (SS) West Lafayette, Indiana --A Purdue University professor has developed a new â€œsmartâ€ tyre, which is able to sense damage when it goes flat or loses tread, making it safer for road travel.
In a 17 Dec statement, the University claims that the tyre's technology can also be used to detect impending defects before a tyre is mass-produced.
The concept behind the technology, which was designed by Gary Krutz, director Purdue's Electro hydraulic Centre and a professor of agricultural and biological engineering, is that the entire tyre acts as a sensor that sends information to onboard computers.
"Some tyre damage is not easily detected or prevented, even with proper maintenance and inspection," said Krutz, in the statement. "Occasionally failures occur because of gap damage within the tread, and this type of damage is a particular hazard on all steel-belted tyres," he added.
"An added bonus to this sensor technology is that drivers can get their tyres repaired before the condition has degraded to the point of where it needs to be replaced,â€ said Krutz.
According to the statement, the sensor technology works for all rubber tyres, such as those on passenger cars, trucks, construction equipment, lawn and garden equipment, mining vehicles, and airplanes. It can also be used in rubber products such as vehicle isolators, door and automotive seals, and orthopaedic devices.
The technology is available for purchase through the Purdue Research Foundation's Office of Technology Commercialisation.
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Press release from Purdue University