Michelin has opened the world’s first factory dedicated to the manufacture of airless tires, called ‘Tweels,’ in Piedmont, S.C. The airless Tweel brings the wheel and tire assembly together into one unit. The Tweel concept was born in 2006 at the Michelin research facility in Greenville, S.C., one of Michelin’s three global technology centers. Michelin will initially market the tires to the agricultural and construction segments, where it says the Tweel outlasts conventional tires by three times. The Tweel airless radial tire enables Michelin to expand its reach in existing business segments within the low-speed-application category of lift forks, tractors and construction machinery. The industry is ‘hungry’ for solutions that contribute to productivity, safety and bottom lines.
The Tweel doesn’t inflate with air, so it’s puncture-proof. It’s also claimed to last three times as long as a conventional tire. (PHOTO: MICHELIN)