Clermont-Ferrand – Michelin has opened a factory in North America to produce its revolutionary new vehicle wheel – the Tweel, which features polyurethane spokes.
Developed a decade ago, the Tweel will not puncture or go flat the way traditional pneumatic tyres do and can be re-treaded several times, according to Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America.
The company opened its 10 plant in South Carolina this week, a site earmarked to produce Tweels, which Selleck claims could “replace the radial tire down the road, but we just do not know.”
The Tweel’s spokes are designed to absorb road impact in the same way that air in pneumatic tyres does currently.
Additionally, the lateral stiffness of the Tweel can be adjusted at its manufacturing level so it can be produced for different types of vehicle.
Michelin equipped the Audi A4 with Tweels made with five times more lateral stiffness than a pneumatic tyre.