Michelin has always been a keen follower of innovation and made that clear by launching their Tweel. Now, the company wants to take it to the next level by making 3D printed car tyres.
3D printing gained popularity in the 2010s and found application in healthcare, construction, computers, space, robots, jewellery, and a host of other areas. Although the technology is not new to the automotive industry, Michelin’s 3D printed tyres will be a first.
This mission is part of Michelin’s ‘Visionary Concept’ program along with several other innovations.
A Revolution in 3D Printing
Michelin is working on a new technology that will allow 3D print on rubber and polymer. Michelin’s Director of Scientific and Innovation Communication,Cyrille Roget, says that this technology is in its initial development stages.
He adds that this technology needs to be industrialised before its full implementation. For that, the company thinks it will take around 10 to 15 years.
Michelin will recycle all worn-out tyres and use them as raw materials for the new ones. The company will then combine those tyres with wood.
The company is developing new technologies that will increase the use of renewable materials. Roget says that they will replace all the significant oil contents in a tyre with wood.
But relax, the company will not be cutting down any trees.
Michelin will put wood chips into use for producing new tyres. The wood chips will act as a replacement for oil-based elastomers in car tyres, like all cheap tyres in Wolverhampton. Roget says the company will utilise waste from the wood industries for producing the elastomers required in tyres.
As of now, around 80% of materials in a car tyre involve oil. By 2048, Michelin aims to produce 100% recycled tyres with 80% renewable compounds. Oil will make only 20% of such tyres.
Reducing the oil content in tyres will not only benefit the environment but also lower the cost of production for them. As of now, Michelin manufactures more than 166 million tyres every year.
Afforestation for a Greater Cause
Michelin has set up a research and development unit for conducting studies with Brazilian wood. Moreover, they have also set up a tree plantation for growing cocoa and banana in addition to rubber. The company also aims to expand this plantation project.
New 3D Printing Solutions
For manufacturing the 3D printers required for this project, Michelin has formed a company called AddUp with Paris-based Fives.
Roget adds that AddUp has already manufactured more than 1 million components. This company will perform critically for the production of the 3D printers.
Already the company has created a significant buzz with its metal parts and focus on sturdiness and safety.
Roget concludes by saying that they would have the first 3D printer within the next two years. He also hopes that consumers can get their hands on 3D printed car tyres by 2020.
As of now, car owners can take advantage of Michelin’s superiority with traditional tyres. Make sure to check out Auto Surefit Motoring Centre tyres Wolverhampton.