Safety and Failure Mode

 

With a traditional tire, the rubber serves as an envelope to contain the air.  The strength of this envelope is dependent upon its air pressure.  A tire can support a vehicle at a fraction of its maximum air pressure.  More air is pumped into the tire as a preload that allows the tire to withstand vertical forces that result from bumps and horizontal forces that result from turning. Additional loads will increase the tire pressure.  When the envelope can no longer withstand the additional pressure, the tire might burst.  If this happens while the vehicle is moving, the vehicle may lose control creating a life threatening situation.  For that reason conventional tires must have a significant safety factor – i.e. a tire with a nominal working point of 35 psi has to bare approx 150 psi.

 

With the Galileo Wheel tire, the envelope does not define the maximum air volume in the tire.   Should the tire encounter additional pressure from an obstacle or overloading, the envelope reacts by expanding, dynamically increasing its volume and resulting in an immediate drop in pressure.   With the Galileo Wheel tire, unlike a traditional tire, an increase in pressure does not pose the risk of bursting.   The Galileo Wheel tire’s unique geometry provides a built in safety mechanism against a tire blowout.

 

There are 3 other implications to this:

  • In a conventional tire the structure of the sidewalls is thin to allow for flexibility during movement.  This has a price however since these thin sidewalls are the weakest point of the tire and can be easily punctured.  What’s worse, a puncture in the sidewalls means, in most cases, a loss of the tire.   With the Galileo Wheel tire, the sides of the tire are under no stress.  The structure of the sides is rigid, like the tread of a conventional tire.  The required flexibility comes from the accordion geometry, rather than the qualities of the rubber.  Thus, if a Galileo Wheel tire is punctured, it can be repaired.
  • Conventional tires cannot be retreaded if the integrity of the sidewalls is broken.  Since the Galileo Wheel tire’s sidewalls are significantly stronger and more robust than a conventional tire, there is a much greater chance for them to qualify for retreading.  This has enormous implications on the environment as tire waste remains a major problem.
  • The thin and flexible sidewalls of a conventional tire have another problem.  The lower the pressure, the more the sides of the tire bulges out horizontally.  This increases the tire’s susceptibility to perforation from sharp objects.  With the Galileo Wheel tire, the flexibility of the tire bulges inward, significantly reducing the risk of puncture.
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