ERJ staff report (TB)
Las vegas, Nevada (SEMA) -- Maintaining proper tyre inflation could depend as much on wheel corrosion and aluminum porosity as on the condition of the tyre and/or tyre valve, according to a Canadian inventor and former auto shop proprietor who has developed a flexible barrier membrane that covers the interior of a wheel to stop air loss through the wheel.
Peter Gilbert of Chatham, Ontario, has been developing the product, known as RIMLiner, for the past six years after encountering numerous instances of air pressure loss at his family's auto repair shop through poor bead area contact caused by corrosion and pitting of the customers' aluminum wheels.
â€œThe basic idea is to eliminate the wheel-tyre interface,â€ Gilbert said during an interview at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where the product is being launched by the manufacturer, ABC Group Inc.
â€œWe looked at coating or priming the wheel somehow,â€ Gilbert said, â€œbut coatings get damaged each time the tyre is changed.
Ultimately Gilbert settled on trying to develop an air-impervious barrier to cover the wheel interior.
Aluminum wheels degrade over time, some more quickly than others, Gilbert said, who had on display at the ABC Group booth a 3-year-old OEM wheel from a Chrysler Group vehicle that was pitted in the bead area and was visibly corroded on the exposed interior side.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)