ERJ staff report (TP)
Gwangju, South Korea − Kumho Tire’s CEO Kim Chang-Kyu announced the launch of the South Korean tire industry's first sealant tire.
The company said that some global brands have launched self-sealing tire models on the market, but Kumho Tire is the first Korean tire maker to introduce the product to South Korea and is sold exclusively within the country.
Jung Il-Taik, Senior Vice President in charge of Material Development, said: "Our sealant tires, the first of their kind on the South Korean market, are the result of cutting-edge technical prowess created by technology powerhouse Kumho Tire."
The firm also explained more about the workings of the sealant tire. When foreign debris penetrates the tire tread, the 'sealant tire' automatically seals the damaged part allowing for normal driving without the loss of air pressure. The technology is also known as the ‘self-sealing tire’.
While the weight of a sealant tire is about 10 percent higher than a normal tire, ride quality, braking performance, handling performance and noise levels are equivalent to normal tires.
When the tread of a normal tire is penetrated by nails or other sharp objects, the air inside the tire is leaked, and the tire goes flat. However, in a sealant tire, a sealant layer in the form of a gel automatically moves to the damaged area, and fills in the damaged portion through self-sealing to prevent the loss of air pressure.
There are two types of tire, the run-flat tire and sealant tire, which protect drivers from puncture accidents during driving. Run-flat tires can run for a certain distance after a puncture occurs, after which the damaged tire must be replaced.
On the other hand, the sealant tire automatically repairs damaged parts penetrated by foreign debris such as nails, and the tire does not need replacing until it reaches the end of its normal service life, with regular safety inspections.
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Press release from Kumho Tire