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Revolutionärer luftloser Reifen von Michelin

09.06.2006

Nov. 2005 - Bei der heutigen Eröffnung der EICMA in Mailand, präsentiert Michelin den "Airless" Scooterreifen.

Dabei handelt es sich noch um ein Konzept, es soll aber bis zur Marktreife weiter entwickelt werden. Die high-preformance Bauweise gibt dem Rad trotz Leichtbau eine hohe Tragfestigkeit gepaart mit guten Dämpfungseigenschaften. Für die Konstruktion eines solchen Reifens bedarf es laut Michelin wesentlich weniger Material. Da immer nur die Lauffläche ersetzt wird ist der Reifen wesentlich umweltfreundlicher. Weitere Vorteile sind natürlich, nie mehr Luftdruck prüfen und keine Pannen mehr. Die radialen Kunststoffbänder können zudem Farblich dem jeweiligen Fahrzeug angepasst werde.

Diese Technik soll auch bei Autos eingesetzt werden.

english - The revolutionary Michelin Airless scooter wheel

Imagine a wheel that never needs inflating, that therefore never goes flat and is maintenance-free. For that, you need a wheel that doesn’t contain any air under pressure—which is exactly the main feature of the Michelin Airless.

The Michelin Airless scooter wheel comprises a radial structure and a circumferential structure.

The radial structure is made of high-performance composite and elastomer reinforcements, which give the wheel both the flexibility to absorb shocks and deliver a comfortable ride and the rigidity to carry the weight of the scooter, the rider and a passenger.

Composed of a conventional tread band and composite reinforcements, the circumferential structure helps to carry the load and guarantee sure-footed grip. It is bonded to the radial structure by an elastic joint, which increases independent movement to deliver a more comfortable ride.

The shape of the Michelin Airless scooter wheel is convex, for two reasons:
- First, the wheel has to be able to camber, so that the scooter can lean into curves.
- Second, the radial structure has to be flexible, which is why the rim flange is seated in the center of the Airless scooter wheel, and not at the shoulders as with a conventional tire.

The seven benefits of the Michelin Airless scooter tire

The Michelin Airless delivers seven benefits in the critical areas of safety, comfort, reliability and the environment.

First, it is maintenance-free, since it eliminates all the pressure checking and adjustments required to maintain optimal ground contact in a conventional tire.

Second, the Michelin Airless is much safer, since there is no longer any risk of a fall in the event of a blowout.

Third, the rider never has to stop. While a puncture on a conventional tire fortunately does not always cause a fall, at the very least it forces the rider to pull over and fix the flat (only Piaggo’s famous Vespa has a spare tire). With the Michelin Airless, on the other hand, the scooter can keep on going even if one or more of the radial bands break or are damaged.

Fourth, because it can’t be punctured, the Michelin Airless is impervious to malicious vandalism. Obviously, this feature also helps to keep the rider on the road.

Fifth, the Michelin Airless is designed to last as long as the scooter, since only the tread wears down and has to be periodically replaced. This means that the Michelin Airless is better for the environment, since it doesn’t use as much raw material.

Sixth, the Michelin Airless scooter wheel comprises both the rim and the load-bearing structure, whereas a conventional tire is composed of the rim, the tire, a valve, the air under pressure and, sometimes, a pressure sensor. This major simplification of the wheel assembly considerably enhances reliability.

Lastly, the Michelin Airless’ radial structure can be color-coded to the scooter body, thereby helping to enhance design and styling.