Michelin airless tyre ready to go to the moon


With its Tweel airless tyre technology, Michelin has solved the issue of flat tyres for a range of turf, construction, and utility vehicle applications here on Earth, and now might even be heading for the moon.

Michelin airless tyre ready to go to the moon
Michelin's Tweel could be part of future space missions

The Michelin X Tweel is a non-pneumatic, non-solid tyre/wheel combo which offers a no-maintenance, puncture proof tyre option for consumers.

Based on the Michelin X Tweel, the Michelin Lunar Tweel has been designed to maintain flexibility and constant ground pressure, allowing the vehicle to move through loose soil and craters.

In addition, it combines low weight and high load-carrying capacity, making it 3.3 times more efficient than the original Apollo Lunar Rover wheels.

Its unique construction enables it to be specifically engineered with ideal characteristics and can now be used for highly specialised low speed applications like ATVs, UTVs, skid steer loaders and ride-on mowers alike.

Unlike conventional tyres, the Tweel has no air, thereby solving what had seemed to be the unavoidable challenge of chronic flat tyres that plagues the landscape, construction, contracting, refuse/recycling and agricultural industries.

With the Michelin X Tweel you can say goodbye to flat tyres.

The airless radial tyre is a single unit that replaces the current tyre and wheel assembly.

There is no need for complex mounting equipment and once they are bolted on, there is no air pressure to maintain.

The unique energy transfer within the poly-resin spokes helps reduce the "bounce" associated with pneumatic tyres, while providing outstanding handling characteristics.

They are designed to perform like pneumatic tyres, without the inconvenience and downtime caused by flat tyres.

Michelin X Tweel tyres have been adapted to a range of different machines, covering turf care, skid steers and light construction, ATVs and UTVs, and golf carts.

The Michelin X Tweel Skid Steer Loader range is offered in Hard surface and All-terrain tread patterns. There is no need for complex mounting equipment and once they are bolted on, there is no air pressure to maintain. The All-terrain offers deep open tread for excellent traction on a broad range of surfaces
The Michelin X Tweel for Lawn products eliminate the common problems of unseated beads and flat tyres on zero turn radius mowers and small to medium sized ride-on lawn tractors. They have a consistent hub height which helps ensure the mower deck produces an even cut, and their full-width poly-resin spokes provide excellent lateral stability for outstanding side hill performance. The spokes also help dampen the ride for enhanced operator comfort, even when navigating over curbs and other bumps. High performance compounds and an efficient contact patch are designed to provide a long wear life that is two to three times that of a pneumatic tyre at equal tread depth

THE NEXT STEP

Showing how revolutionary Michelin’s Tweel tyre technology is, the company recently worked on a project to develop an airless tyre for a future lunar vehicle alongside team members from aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman. Working within the framework of a tender from NASA, a model of the future lunar vehicle was revealed to the general public for the first time at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The aim was to develop a tyre capable of resisting the extreme conditions at the lunar pole in order to make it easier to explore the lunar surface and allow a sustainable presence on the moon in 2025, and ultimately on Mars.

The Artemis program developed by NASA plans to send one man and one woman to the Moon in 2025. The two astronauts will travel around in a new lunar vehicle, looking for a site suitable for setting up a base.

Michelin says that participating in this adventure and accompanying these exploration works are in line with the company’s purpose and its passion for mobility.

This is an opportunity to acquire new knowledge in terms of mobility solutions and further stimulate Michelin’s unique capacities for innovation.

In order to design an airless tyre solution suited to the lunar terrain vehicle, in addition to its experience acquired during previous collaborations with NASA, Michelin will rely on its expertise in high-technology materials and on the know-how acquired in the development of airless solutions for extreme applications.

For more information on Michelin X Tweel tyres, visit: www.michelin.com.au/michelintweel

For more information on Michelin’s lunar vehicle research, visit: www.michelin.com/en/news/michelin-is-getting-ready-to-go-to-the-moon

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