The Tweel – a radial tyre for commercial and agricultural applications that runs without air – is going into production at a new Michelin plant in the United States.
Combining the words ‘tyre’ and ‘wheel’, Tweel was conceived by Michelin research engineers during their search to find an alternative to the pneumatic tyre.
First introduced as a concept at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, Tweel consists of a non-pneumatic tyre and wheel assembly made in one solid unit with an outer moulded tread connected to an inner rim structure by a series of energy-absorbing polyurethane ‘spokes’.
Restricted to commercial and agricultural applications initially, it is designed to solve what Michelin describes as the ‘unavoidable challenge’ of chronic flat tyres. Experts believe the Tweel could become a common fitment on family cars.
It is being produced at Michelin’s newest plant at Piedmont, South Carolina – their 10th manufacturing facility in South Carolina and their 16th in the United States.