With the continuous development of technology, the application possibilities of 3D Printing technology are increasing. In the automotive industry, tire manufacturer Michelin has used this technology to launch fully 3D printed tires with longer service life and more targeted. At the 2021 Munich IAA Commercial Vehicle Show, Michelin used 3D printed tires (Uptis) for the first time in a family car. They assembled this type of tire on a Mini electric car and offered it to people for trial rides. According to feedback, the comfort of 3D printed tires is no different from ordinary tires.
This tire is mainly made of a mixture of composite rubber and resin embedded glass fiber, 46% of which are sustainable materials, including 143 recycled yogurt cups and approximately 12.5 PET bottles, which are manufactured through 3D printing technology. Michelin’s goal is to put the first batch of tires containing recycled yogurt cups and PET bottles into production by 2024, to recycle about 4 billion PET bottles each year as tire raw materials, and to use 100% sustainable materials to produce tires by 2050. According to reports, the 3D printed Uptis tire pattern is similar to that of ordinary tires. It does not look special, but it has no sidewalls. Instead, it is replaced by some hollow wave-shaped cushioning structures. At the same time, the tire is equipped with a special aluminum alloy wheel, which can be installed on the car like a normal wheel. Although it is about 7% heavier than traditional wheels, it has stronger impact resistance and longer service life.
In addition, the tire grip performance has not changed much. What’s important is that there is no need for a spare tire on the car from now on, because it will never puncture, and there is no need to worry about the sharp corners of the road. Even driving over a nail was unharmed, and ordinary pebble road conditions were no problem. It is said that there is no problem running on the highway with this tire, and the speed can reach 210 kilometers per hour. In addition to eliminating the risk of puncture and regularly checking tire pressure to ensure good handling (and preventing uneven wear, Michelin’s airless technology can also have a significant impact on the environment. Due to punctures or other problems, approximately 2 must be discarded each year. 100 million tires-equivalent to the weight of 200 Eiffel Towers. Although it requires more resources to manufacture compared to traditional tires, when the original tire wears out, by adding a new tread to the bottom of the tire, Uptis can also increase This will limit its overall environmental impact. At present, Michelin has reached a cooperation with General Motors to design and sell airless tires for family passenger cars. The first batch of products are expected to be launched on the market in 2024. They will be The site is selected for specific General Motors models. Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles have been installed with this type of tires and are being tested in southeastern Michigan.
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