Japanese tire manufacturers Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd have produced a prototype tire that repairs itself when pierced. The innovation is made possible thanks to a 3mm layer of adhesive sealant mix that coats the inside of the tire. If the tire is pierced, the sealant reseals the breach quickly with minimal loss of tire pressure even when holes are as large as 5mm in diameter. The loss in pressure is so minimal that drivers may not even be aware that their tire was punctured. If a nail pierces the tire, the sealant will create a seal around the metal, and when the nail is removed, the sealant will close off the resulting hole quickly.
Additionally, a team formed by four research scholars from Odisha, India recently received the coveted ‘Create the Future Design Contest – 2015’ NASA award. The team from VSSUT developed a multi-chambered tubeless tire filled with a liquid layer of sealants and rubber particles, which prevent leakage of air in case of puncture.
These sealants will be compatible with all brands of tires and seem likely to become a common feature in the future thanks to the improved convenience and safety it offers motorists.