AKRON—Goodyear is aiming to take a bigger chunk of the waste and construction truck tire markets with the launch of a commercial sealant technology that repairs punctures instantly.
The sealant, called DuraSeal, cuts downtime and repairs and has been installed on two new Unisteel truck tires, the G287 MSA and G288 MSA, said Donn P. Kramer, commercial tire marketing director. He and Beth Ann Barchalk, marketing team leader for commercial tires, unveiled both the technology and tires during a news conference at the company´s Akron headquarters.
DuraSeal technology, the first built-in sealant for commercial truck tires, uses a yellow, gel-like rubber compound that is designed to seal instantly tread punctures up to one-quarter inch in diameter, according to Barchalk, and it can do it again and again without repairing the tire or re-applying the sealant. Once a nail punctures a tire, "the gel-like substance gravitates to the nail and fills the puncture," she said.
Tires using DuraSeal last six times longer than conventional brands without a sealant before they are repaired, Barchalk claimed, adding that Goodyear is the only tire manufacturer to offer truck tires with a sealant built into the inner liner. It trims repair costs, downtime and tire replacement, she said.
The solvent-free and nonflammable technology also eliminates the threat of tire chamber fires during the retreading process, the two officials said.
An additional advantage is that truck fleets can eliminate expensive and messy liquid-based aftermarket sealants, which have a tendency to dry out and become less effective, according to Kramer. He said those sealants also force companies to take their trucks out of service, which is costly.
Two for one
The new tires replace the Unisteel 286, a multi-purpose tire used for tough applications, including logging, construction, mining and severe service.
The new offerings are earmarked for vehicles used in the waste and construction industries, which include mining, coal hauling and logging segments, Kramer said. That covers about 18 percent of the over-the-road tires registered, he added.
The sealant built into the tire´s casing allows truck drivers to continue operating after a puncture. The tire can remain in use until it is retreaded.
"We´re surpassing the competition with two new specific designs for on- and off-road services," Kramer said in detailing the advantages of the firm´s new tire offerings. "Competitors normally use one design with two tread depths."
He called the G286 an excellent tire, "but it couldn´t really be all things to all people. Our customers require tires that deliver long tread life and still handle the many traction challenges posed by their individual mixed-service applications."
On-, off-road advantage
The G287, designed to be used on highways 80 percent of the time, features high-mileage tread compounds, an improved belt package and computer-generated tread design, said Kramer. It´s highway friendly and helps cut tire cost-per-mile in specific applications, he added.
Its strengths include better mileage, improved handling and cornering, high-speed capabilities, a quiet ride and better wet traction, the marketing director said.
The G288 is aimed at "customers who demand off-road traction and a slice of highway mileage and ride," Kramer said, pointing out that compared with the G286 it offers superior mileage, tearing and cutting resistance, and off-road and wet traction, along with a quiet ride.
The tires—manufactured at Goodyear´s Danville, Va., plant—are available in a variety of sizes and will be unveiled at the firm´s dealer meeting in Dallas in late January. They should be in dealerships by April, Barchalk said.
Goodyear may expand the use of the DuraSeal technology in the future to charter buses, school buses and recreational vehicles, the two officials noted.
It´s doubtful the technology will be used on passenger vehicles, Kramer indicated, because by the time it´s ready, run-flats likely will be much more advanced.