In order to curb damage caused to tyres, Michelin has gone a step ahead and developed a technology outside that of the tyre itself. The French tyre manufacturer has come up with a wheel technology that allows it to bend and not break, providing a safer roll over rough surfaces or potholes. Michelin Acorus wheel has a pair of flexible rubber flanges attached to a special alloy wheel to help absorb the shock. This will allow using low-profile tyres without fearing about them not surviving the very first pothole. Michelin worked in collaboration with wheel maker Maxion to develop the Acorus.
Michelin Acorus will first be made available to automakers this year. It is so far not known when will the Acorus be available for drivers who want to fit them aftermarket.
How does Michelin Acorus bend, not break?
Michelin Acorus uses two rubber expanders that are fitted to a slightly narrower wheel. When the vehicle hits a pothole, the expander extends and protects the tyre and the aluminium section of the wheel.
Tyres with Michelin Acorus technology ensure that the wheel and the tyre resist impact better and the risks of a puncture caused by pinching the tyre’s side are reduced, regardless of the vehicle’s speed. Also, because the technology will help avoid punctures, drivers will change their tyres less, which will help save raw materials. And finally, it means drivers in countries with damaged roads can use tires with a larger diameter, which improves the look of their vehicle.
While it is not known when will the Michelin Acorus arrive in the market to owners of existing cars, prospective customers should look into how the Acorus tyre-wheel combination compares with traditional tyre-wheel combos in terms of cost and performance.