"Throw away the tire pump?" Well, maybe not yet, but Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has a system that is headed in that direction.
Over the past year Goodyear engineers have been working on Air Maintenance Technology that can aid in fuel savings and longer tread life. The results of that work are coming to fruition with the introduction of the system at the 2012 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany.
Essentially, the technology involves a rim-area-mounted tube inside the tire which, when impinged upon by a deflated tire as it flattens on the bottom side, pumps air into the tire to maintain pressure and prevents the tire from overheating by excessive flexing.
Goodyear says the system can maintain tire pressure under load, which improves fuel economy and ultimately improves the life of the tire's tread.
Estimates indicate for every 10 psi lost in tire inflation, there is a one percent loss in miles per gallon of fuel. Also, tire-related costs are the single largest maintenance item for commercial vehicle owners, say Goodyear officials, with 50% of all truck and trailer breakdowns involving a tire in some way.
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