Having introduced an entire new line of truck tires last year, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire is going back to basics, developing new designs for core tire components. At a technology preview during its annual dealer meeting, the company displayed new approaches to casing design and materials intended to increase both durability and resistance to irregular wear. It also offered a look at a variety of tire pressure monitoring systems that could be used to meet any future federal moves to require such remote monitoring.
A new belt package on display uses less material than current tire casing designs, yet provides a stiffer platform for the tread. The lighter, stiffer package could have a positive impact on both original tread life and casing durability, according to Guy Walenga, engineering manager-NA Commercial Products.
Company engineers are also looking at a new approach to tire bead design that will provide a stronger bead, more resistance to bead damage, and result in greater durability over the entire life of a casing.
The third core technology unveiled was a new inner liner made with a higher level of clay in its chemical composition. Called SuperSealant, it will cut moisture migration through the casing by 50%, Walenga said, not only reducing tire air loss but also protecting the casing elements from breakdown due to moisture exposure.