Imagine a tire with a tread that regenerates itself as it wears. At last week’s Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Michelin unveiled the latest innovation from its Michelin Durable Technologies research – the new XDA5 drive tire for Class 8 rigs.
Michelin says its uses patented design and manufacturing techniques to mold the tread of the XDA5 in three dimensions. As the tire wears, the tread reveals new grooves and tread blocks, effectively giving the tire a second life – self-regenerating to improve wet, worn traction, according to the company. This regenerating tread is designed to keep the tire in service longer before retreading, with a 30 percent improvement in tread life over other drive tires that are commercially available, Michelin says.
“Incorporating three-dimensional features into the tire tread that must interact with each other as the tire rolls down the highway required Michelin to develop additional innovations in our manufacturing processes,” says Jean-Michel Guillon, chief operating officer for Greenville, S.C.-based Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “The result is a sophisticated tread design that works to preserve itself as it performs. We are very excited to bring this technology to the marketplace as it dramatically raises the bar for high-mileage tires.”
Through innovative design and manufacturing, double-wave Matrix sipes give the XDA5 tire’s 30/32 deep tread blocks the ability to lock together in all directions, delivering added rigidity, resistance to scrub and minimizing irregular wear normally associated with deep tread block designs, according to Michelin. At the base of the Matrix siping, a raindrop groove is molded into the tread block that reveals a new groove when the tread has 10/32 remaining, a feature of self-regenerating tread. Due to this self-regenerating mechanism, the XDA5 tire offers renewed grip, enhanced worn traction and more usable tread, the company says.
Michelin says the XDA5 tire also boasts a footprint that is more than 10 percent wider than its predecessor, delivering a larger contact patch and, in turn, superior stability and handling throughout the life of the tire. The Michelin XDA5 tire soon will be available in four sizes, 275/80R22.5, 11R22.5, 275/80R24.5 and 11R24.5. Next year, it will be offered in a 305/75R24.5 LRJ version, created expressly to accommodate Mexico’s higher load-carrying demands.
Michelin is marking the XDA5 tire’s entrance into the marketplace with a guarantee that the tire will outlast the drive tire it replaces by at least 30 percent. If the tire does not achieve a minimum of 30 percent increased service life, Michelin will credit double the amount of the price difference between the XDA5 tire and the tire it replaced. Details regarding the guarantee program are available at www.michelintruck.com.
“This guarantee makes a strong statement about our confidence in the tire and Michelin Durable Technologies,” says Marc Laferriere, vice president of marketing for Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “For operators that are seeking a tire with a significantly longer service life without compromising performance, we are certain that the Michelin XDA5 tire will deliver exactly what they are looking for. In fact, this may well be the last drive tire they’ll ever need.”