Airless, biodegradable and 3D printed – The wheel of tomorrow

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The Problem

More than 300 million tires are scrapped every year (link) and more often than not tires end up in landfills. When tires decompose they release chemicals, many of which are toxic, and end up polluting the environment.

Category: waste

The Technology – A new type of wheel that  is more sustainable, resilient and efficient

  • Michelin is a 128-year-old French tire manufacturer and an established player in the tire industry with nearly 14% of the global market share for tires (link). The company recently unveiled a radically different connect wheel called Vision.
  • The wheel is made from a wide variety of materials from recycled (traditional) tire chips and natural rubber to hay and electronic and plastic waste.

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  • Michelin’s plans to embed sensors in the tire, thus making it a “smart tire” that will automatically adopt to the road conditions ahead and interact with the car’s computer. There are many potential applications that can rise from a modern and dynamic “connection” between a car’s “brain” and its wheels (for example: link)
  • The wheel is still at its concept phase and is not ready for mass production. moreover, the company does not have an estimate date for the wheel’s commercial availability.

Stakeholders

Every car owner can benefit from developments in tire technology. Nonetheless it is likely that consumers and companies that strongly relay on automobile transportation (e.g. cabs (or ride share operators), delivery companies (UPS, FedEx and alike) and municipal agencies) will greatly benefit from this technology, which is likely to also improve the vehicle’s MPG.

Implementation

Step 1: Michelin needs to finalize the development of the product and secure the materials stream required for the mass production of the wheel.

Step 2:  Invest in 3D production facilities or secure production contracts for mass production of the wheel. The company should simultaneously develop a support and maintenance infrastructure for the new wheel

Step 3: Introduce the wheel to the market in phases, first as a component of new cars and only later as a potential retrofit for older cars.

Citation:

Article Link

Company’s website – Link

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2 thoughts on “Airless, biodegradable and 3D printed – The wheel of tomorrow

  1. These tires are printed with compost materials such as bio-sourced and biodegradable materials, including natural rubber, bamboo, paper, tin cans, wood, electronic and plastic waste, hay, tire chips, used metals, cloth, cardboard, molasses, and orange zest. Most of the research needed is still needed in producing these biomaterials for printing.
    RFID sensors collect data and predict what type of tires the vehicle needs to adapt – for example, if you are going to be driving on snowy terrain, you can first drive to a Michelin printing station and get your tires retrofitted for this terrain.
    The Tweel is an older, airless tire concept that is similar but used in small, low-speed vehicles and appliances such as golf carts and lawn mowers.
    #sz2673

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  2. 2 thoughts on “Landfill gas for dinner: Is methane-made protein the future of food?”

    omriklag says:
    SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 AT 1:45 PM
    Another point from the article – Fishmeal, which is used as a common source of protein for shrimp and livestock dramatically increased in price in the last two decades. Producing protein from methane emissions can help lower the cost of feeding shrimp and livestock.

    Like

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