PARIS (Sept. 27) — The latest version of Groupe Michelin's Pax run-flat tire/wheel system uses a polyurethane inner support ring that shaves nearly a pound of weight per wheel from the previous rubber ring while offering 17-percent more load-bearing capacity.
The development is the result of work with Dow Chemical Co., which has been working on the reaction injection molded support ring at its Freeport, Texas, site for the last three years. The MDI- (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate-) based PU product is intended to support a completely flat tire on a car driven at up to 55 mph for 125 miles.
The PU support ring weighs 4.2 pounds vs. nearly 5.1 pounds for the rubber model, according to Pedro Costa, vice president of Michelin's extended mobility operations.
Honda expects annual sales of the PAX-fitted Odyssey minivan to reach around 25,000 units, according to the Michelin executive.