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Could the days of frequent punctures and tyre changes be behind us once and for all?

 

Pretty soon, we won’t have to worry about what all those potholes are doing to our tyres thanks to Michelin Acorus Technology.

Developed together with Maxion Wheels, this could be a game-changing tyre innovation that increases wheel flexibility and integrity.

How does it work?

Two rubber flanges are mounted on a narrow alloy wheel body, flexing to protect the tyre with every impact. This enables the tyre to better absorb all that damaging bumps from potholes and curbs better than conventional wheels, resulting in longer lasting tyres and rims – on top of enhanced ride and comfort, of course.

(L-R) Tyre, Acorus rubber flange, Maxion wheel body, another Acorus rubber flange, and optional wheel cover or trim.

“Car wheels have been getting bigger and bigger, as they contribute to making cars look more premium, and large shiny alloys are an integral part of all modern car designs. However, the resulting low profile tires with short sidewalls are much more susceptible to damage on today’s deteriorating roads with myriad potholes,” explains Florent Menegaux, Michelin CEO.

When can I have it?

While Maxion Wheels and Michelin currently hold the patent for this technology, the aim is widespread commercial use since Acorus is suitable for almost all conventional tyres.

For now, the Maxion flexible wheel with Michelin Acorus tech will be sold in sizes 19” and above to the OE premium automakers. We don’t know when they will become available here yet – but we do know the days of fewer punctures and tyre changes lie ahead.

CEO of Maxion Wheels Pieter Klinkers hints that the company is already working on a steel adaptation to meet the demands of autonomous driving and shared vehicles markets. “Acorus is certainly suitable for electric vehicle wheels, and as there is no limit from size for this technology, I’d say it’s even preferable on the tall and narrow dimensions,” he told TyrePress.

So far, Michelin has already agreed to supply its Acorus tech for the production of driverless electric city shuttle buses in London.

Images courtesy of Michelin/ Maxion Wheels.

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