Drive tire incorporates advanced tread design

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Michelin’s new XDA5 developmental tire promises extra-long tread life with minimal tread degradation throughout the life of the tire, thanks to an intricate new design.

That design is part of what the company introduced to trade journalists Thursday, Nov. 2, in Greenville, S.C., as Michelin Durable Technologies, a set of its newest approaches to improving tires.

The XDA5 drive tire is designed to last more than 30 percent longer than conventional radial drive tires, Michelin executives said.

The drive tire maintains its wet traction characteristics throughout the life of the tire through the appearance of extra grooves in the last third of its tread life. Double-wave Matrix sipes with raindrop features are molded into the tread blocks and create new, enlarged grooves automatically as the tire wears.

The double-wave shape of the sipe, creating tread blocks that fit like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, ensures block rigidity to enhance wear performance and minimize irregular wear normally associated with deep tread designs. The raindrop feature enhances traction when worn, thereby offering additional usable tread.

The more the XDA5 tire travels, the more it self-regenerates. When the tread is two-thirds worn, the channels gradually open to create new transverse grooves in the middle of the blocks. Due to this self-regenerating mechanism, the XDA5 tire delivers renewed grip and more usable miles.

The tire currently is being produced in limited quantity under the development name MDA7. The XDA5 tire will be offered in 2007 in four sizes, 275/80R22.5, 11R22.5, 275/80R24.5 and 11R24.5.

The other major component of Michelin Durable Technologies is its Infini-Coil Technology. This is a stabilizing belt construction that runs perpendicular to the radial ply to optimize wear and handling.

The feature has been used in the company’s wide single, the X One, since its introduction. Now Michelin is applying it to some of its more traditional products for optimal load and pressure combinations.