The company has won grants to develop the technology. The United States Department of Energy’s Office of Vehicle Technology Wednesday announced it has awarded a $1.5 million grant to develop the technology for truck tyres while the Luxemburg government is providing grant aid to help development of an AMT system for consumer tyres. That work will be conducted at Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg.
Goodyear said its Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) will enable tyres to remain inflated at the optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps or electronics. All components of the AMT system, including the miniaturised pump, will be fully contained within the tyre.
“While the technology is complex, the idea behind the AMT system is relatively simple and powered by the tyre itself as it rolls down the road,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer.
Historically, other self-inflation systems have been developed in which a small pipe is built into the tyre and as the tyre rolls, it sends air down the pipe like a peristaltic pump. A pressure-sensitive valve prevents over-inflation. There is a significant cost in rolling resistance when using these technologies. Goodyear did not say if this is the idea behind its AMT innovation.
Goodyear noted that in addition to the grants for developint the AMT, the US Department of Energy’s Office of Vehicle Technology will also award a $1.5 million grant for a joint project between silica producer PPG Industries and Goodyear to improve the rolling resistance and fuel efficiency of tyres. The project’s objective is to increase average fuel efficiency of passenger vehicle fleets through use of new tread and inner liner technologies.
Goodyear did not provide an estimate as to when this technology would be available at tyre retailers, but said the timetable would be accelerated due to recent government research grants in United States and European Union. Goodyear will develop the truck-based technology in Akron and the car-based technology at its tech centre in Akron, Ohio.
“While similar in concept, there are significant differences in AMT systems for consumer and commercial tyres,” said Kihn. “The tangible support from both the U.S. and Luxembourg governments underscores the value of these projects and the many positive benefits they can provide drivers around the world.”
Press release from Goodyear
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