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Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer

The 2020 Ford Explorer will come with a fabulous boon to Michigan drivers - self-sealing tires! And not that cheesy goop, either.


(Everyone's mechanic, Scotty Kilmer, explains self-sealing tires)

ďWhen the sealant works as designed, most drivers never know itís working. There is no pressure loss, and odds are the driver doesnít see the object in the tire or itís fallen out,Ē Rogers said.

Creating the rubbery sealant was tricky, Michelin engineers said. It must flow into punctures, but it canít pool at the bottom of the tire when itís parked. The material also must form an airtight seal, and flow at temperatures from scorching desert blacktop to a frigid winter night.

Michelinís tires can theoretically keep going for days, though they will eventually need to be repaired or replaced, depending on how severely the puncture damaged the tire.

(Via Detroit Free Press)

As Scotty notes in his video, the self-sealing idea goes back at least as far as WWII (he shows a picture of a self-sealing gas tank). Technovelgy readers know that Golden Age great Raymond Z. Gallun makes great use of self-sealing plastic for asteroid-based greenhouses in his 1951 classic Asteroid of Fear.

However, the inventive Golden Age scientifiction writer Jack Williamson describes a pretty neat scheme for sealing punctures in the hull of a spacecraft - plastifoam from his amazing 1941 blockbuster story Collision Orbit:

Krrrang!

At that loud reverberation, the Venusian turned pasty-yellow...

"That was an alarming sound," Drake admitted patiently. "But the particle that made it was smaller than the head of a pin. It struck three inches of good steel. We have a layer of lead, to absorb the gamma ray, and a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air if one comes through."

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