The material, which is applied on the interior of a vehicle tire, enables punctures to be automatically sealed, said a 19 Feb company statement.
The development is in line with the requirements of future vehicles, according Frank Lückgen, global marketing director, tire, at Arlanxeo’s Tire & Specialty Rubbers business unit (BU TSR).
“As a spare tire and the corresponding tools are no longer required, the weight of the vehicle and subsequently also its energy consumption are further reduced. In the case of electric vehicles, this can result in a longer range, for example,” added Lückgen.
The material is “a newly developed self-sealing compound but it is experimental and still under development,” Lückgen told ERJ in an interview at the recent TTE show in Hanover.
“We have done tests in our labs and it has worked. For example, it must have a sealing effect from minus 25 degrees C up to plus 100 degrees – a huge temp range.”
The Arlanxeo director did not disclose details of the polymer, citing confidentiality reasons. However, he did say that the material is not a polyisobutylene – a known candidate for tire-sealant applications.
The development project has now moved on to on-road testing by an unnamed tire manufacturer, with results due back by June.
“We are at an advanced stage with the project but at the end of the day the tire company has to tell us whether it works or not,” said Lückgen
Asked about the advantages of the new rubber compound, the Arlanxeo director said the materials was less sticky than existing tire sealant materials.
“Stickiness requires that you have to wrap up each tire separately for transport regions,” he explained. “Sometime tires are in contact when they are transported and if it sticks then there is a big problem.”
Arlanxeo expects that each tire would typically require around 1kg of compound, but this would still represent a weight-saving compared to carrying a spare tire or fitting runflats.
Asked about the cost of the compound, Lückgen, the total cost was not just about the price of compound but also involved applying the material on the tire. He also noted that there were availability issues around existing materials, particularly polyisobutylene.
“We gave to our customer our expectation for the price of the compound. They made a calculation including additional costs for machinery to apply it and their conclusion was that it is competitive,” he said.