Researchers develop a sealant that is placed in tubes and which hardens if exposed to air
If the fear of tyre puncture is holding you back from embarking upon a long drive along country road, then you can rest be assured. The days are not far when no one would be stranded on account of puncture of vehicle tyres.
A team of researchers at Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), Burla, has developed a tyre technology which is claimed to be puncture-proof.
The researchers have developed sealant, a viscous material, which is placed inside multi-chambered tube or tubeless tyre. If tyre or tube is punctured by a sharpened object, the puncture is immediately filled up as sealant gets hardened after coming in contact with air.
Interestingly, the inventors have come out with interesting feature such as making the sealant replaceable. Besides, any kind of tyre alteration using the technology could be possible with existing manufacturing set-up.
The team comprising of Sameer Panda, who is a PhD scholar in VSSUT, Dr. K. N. Panda, a retired professor having vast experience in chemistry and rubber technology and Smitiparna Satpathy, an MBA graduate who pitched in with experience of marketing and negotiation, showcased their manufacturable prototype here on Saturday.
The concept was first stumbled upon by Sameer Panda, when he was a student in University College of Engineering, Burla (Now VSSUT) around 1998.
It took him seven years to make the first prototype for his scooter. The first prototype was tested by D. Mishra, Dean Students Affairs, in VSSUT in 2005-06. Mr. Mishra encouraged him to work further.
Without any funding back-up, researchers had a tough time to carry forward the research. During decade long research, technical problems associated with the new technology were sorted out by wide-range of consultations technical experts in and outside the country.
“Usually, leakage, gradual degradation of tyres, wheel balancing, puncture of sidewall of tyre and hardening of rubber are generally associated with sealant in tyres. Our innovation will be able to resolve problems partially or completely. It will make the drive hassle free in case of puncture, besides improving the life by cooling effect,” said Mr. Panda.
The technology titled ‘Mild Run Flat Tyre’ has got a thumbs up in preliminary round of regional fair of “India Innovation Initiative” or “i3” held at Kolkata.
“Out of total of 40 innovations received, the jury has selected top seven innovations including Mild Run Flat Tyre basing on the technical feasibility, market potential of the innovation and its impact on the industry, society and environment for “I3” national fair to be held at Delhi,” he said.
Researchers have already applied five patents nationally and four internationally on the technology.
“We have been approaching tyre manufacturing companies and trying to convince them about the technology. We are hopeful that our invention would be accepted soon,” Mr. Satpathy said.
He said the technology will also increase the life of the tyre or tube by 10 to 15 per cent, besides improving fuel efficiency on account of pressure balance of tyre.