GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 16, 2001) — Group Michelin and Dow Chemical Co. have formalized an agreement for Dow to supply Michelin with a polyurethane-based inner support wheel for Michelin´s Pax integrated tire/wheel system.
Dow and Michelin have been working together on the development since February 2000. The development of a PU insert will allow Michelin to trim additional weight out of the system, which offers run-flat capabilities of up to 125 miles at 55 mph.
The companies did not specify at this time their weight savings goal, but earlier a Michelin executive indicated the target was to cut in half the mass of the rubber insert used originally.
The contract guarantees Dow a significant, unspecified percentage of Michelin´s business for PU run-flat support wheels over the coming years. Results of this development will be made available to other PAX System licensees — Goodyear and Pirelli S.p.A. currently — Dow and Michelin said.
The Pax system will allow car makers to eliminate the spare tire, making cars lighter and affording extra space for more storage and design features, Michelin said.