Michelin announces Tweel airless tire going into production in SC [w/videos]

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Michelin has been showing off its idea of combining the wheel and tire into a single component as far back as 2005. Dubbed the Tweel, the novel design replaced standard pneumatic tires and metal wheels with deforming spokes around a hub. While uses of the Tweel are still limited, the tech is about to get a big upgrade in production with Michelin opening a dedicated factory to build them in Piedmont, SC, on November 20.

While there are no automotive offerings yet, the Tweel is already available for skid steer loaders and certain models of John Deere lawnmowers. The current design uses a steel center hub that bolts up just like a regular wheel, and poly-resin spokes radiate outward to support the treads. With no air inside, there's no way for one of these to go flat, and it deforms around most obstacles. Michelin also claims that the Tweel offers three times the wear life of a traditional, pneumatic tire.

Scroll down to read Michelin's announcement of the factory opening and watch three videos showing off the punishment that the Tweel can take. It fascinating to watch how it works.

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Michelin to officially open plant Nov. 20 to build its innovative airless radial tire -- world's first facility of its kind


Press event to dedicate Michelin's newest manufacturing facility in Piedmont, S.C., that will make the Tweel tire - an airless radial tire that never goes flat - for wide commercial use in the United States. This is the first plant in the world devoted to building airless radial tires. The Tweel plant will be Michelin's 16th in the United States and 10th in South Carolina.


Pete Selleck, chairman and president, Michelin North America
Ralph Dimenna, vice president, Michelin Tweel Technologies
Greenville County Officials
Personal message from Governor Nikki Haley


Thurs., Nov. 20, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. EST


Michelin's Tweel Facility
280 Griffin Road
Piedmont, SC 29673

Press materials and opportunities;

Following press conference, Michelin will conduct multiple demonstrations of the Tweel in action for photo and video opportunities.

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