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AKRON, Ohio, June 10, 2009 – In the trucking industry, a combination of tires and nails has long been seen as a bad pairing with challenging results. Nail causes leak. Leak causes flat. Flat causes downtime, missed schedules and a hefty service and tire repair bill.
But Goodyear changed that thinking a few years ago with the introduction of DuraSeal Technology, an innovative advancement, which brought the words “puncture sealant” to the lips of fleet managers around the country.
“We understood a sealant’s potential benefits — longer tire life and more constant tire inflation pressures — and it kept the wheels of creativity spinning at Goodyear,” said Donn Kramer, director of marketing for Goodyear commercial tire systems. “After years of research, we were able to create a gel-like, solvent-free compound and built it into the inner liner of the tire.”
With that, Goodyear launched DuraSeal Technology, an innovative development that consistently and instantly seals punctures up to 1/4-inch in diameter in the repairable area of the tread. It does not seal sidewall punctures. When a nail puncture occurs, DuraSeal Technology’s yellow, gel-like rubber compound instantly surrounds the nail and seals the tread puncture. Built into the crown of the tire, the sealant helps protect the part of the tire where punctures most often occur.
To keep total cost of ownership low, tires with DuraSeal Technology can be retreaded. “Because DuraSeal is in the inner liner, there is no impact on the retreading process,” said Kramer. “This is a huge advantage for waste haulers using our G289 WHA with DuraSeal, because a retreaded tire can cost considerably less than a new tire. Multiplied by additional retreads on that casing, it really aids in driving down costs.
“Through DuraSeal, we also eliminate the costs associated with aftermarket sealants – the cost of initial application, the cost of cleaning out old sealant and re-applying new sealant, as well as the cost of disposal,” continued Kramer. “Plus, there’s no mess, wheel cleaning or need to find the right retreader. And, no downtime for most tire repairs. Any way you look at it, a fleet comes out ahead with DuraSeal Technology.”
DuraSeal Technology was first introduced on Goodyear’s line of commercial mixed-service tires, many of which went into use in transfer dump and construction applications. Last year, the technology was incorporated into Goodyear’s G316 LHT trailer tire for long-haul trucking operations. This year, the expansion has continued to include the G289 WHA tire for front- and rear-loading waste haulers.
The story behind the development and deployment of DuraSeal Technology in commercial tires demonstrates Goodyear’s commitment to innovation. It also offers a strong example of the company’s core value of listening and responding to customer needs and expectations.
Goodyear conducted surveys, which revealed, among other things, that refuse fleets with 50 trucks typically had 102 tire-related service calls per month. It found that 69 percent of those calls can be attributed to tire punctures and each call cost the fleets an average of $170, or more than $143,000 per year. The survey clearly demonstrated a need for a sealant tire among commercial users, such as waste haulers, said David Benko, director of Goodyear’s global materials.
Developing the concept behind the sealant tire for use in commercial tires required exhaustive testing and refinement. The compound making up each component of the tire had to be optimized for the purpose that component serves.
Next came validation, and Goodyear conducted exhaustive testing against tires using aftermarket sealants and tires that had no sealant. “Measured against aftermarket sealants for puncture-sealing efficiency, tire longevity and fewer repairs, DuraSeal Technology proved superior,” said Kramer. “In tests against tires with no sealant, tires with DuraSeal Technology remained in service because they didn’t need to be taken off the job for most puncture repairs.”*
Since Goodyear introduced DuraSeal Technology in 2005, the company has earned high praise and several prestigious awards, including Goodyear’s trailer tire with DuraSeal Technology being named a “Great Eight” – one of eight finalists for the Truck Writer’s of North America’s 2008 Technical Achievement Award.