You’re ready to drive to your morning business appointment. You’re on time and out the door. But then, as you approach the car… Oh, no! One of your tires is flat. You must have run over a nail last night, and the tire sat all night, slowly leaking air. There’s no way to make the meeting now.
Scenes like this may be a thing of the past because of a proprietary polymer lining that coats the inside of a tire’s tread. The polymer was developed in Hungary but a New Jersey-based company holds the distribution rights.
Kevin Fields, the distributor for Rhinotire, says that the product will not only prevent flats from nails or road debris, but also increase fuel economy by as much as 10%, reports The Detroit News. The other benefits include extending the tire’s life by as much as 25%, reducing tire noise by as many as 30 decibels, maintaining tire pressure, and making the vehicle less fatiguing to drive. Fields himself says he tested the tires by driving coast to coast, often at high speeds, to assure that the tires would not go flat.
The polymer was developed by engineers in Hungary who tired of flats. They spent 10 years finding a way to avoid them. The polymer not only seals punctures through the tread, but also keeps the tire tread cooler, keeps the vehicle tracking more down the road in a more true line, and provides noise and vibration insulation. One possible downside is that the liner adds about a pound of weight to each tire.
Special equipment is needed to put the polymer liner in the tire. The only location right now where that can occur is in the New Jersey location. Fields says is he trying to add additional company facilities in other areas. In addition, a major international tire maker plans to incorporate the polymer into many of its tires, he says.
Until that time, the company in New Jersey can apply the polymer liner to any set of tires shipped to it. The cost per tire is between $75 to $100, depending on the size of the tire.