Tire manufacturers are constantly developing new technologies to increase driver safety in the event of tire damage. Since the introduction of Run-Flat tires, tires featuring Seal Technology have been the industry standard. And they even go a step further: While Run-Flat tires are not compatible with all rims, and after a loss of pressure they may be driven on for a maximum of 80 km at 80 km/h, tires with Seal Technology have no such restrictions. Plus, an immediate tire change is not even necessary.
Pirelli calls this technology "Seal Inside", Michelin has decided on "SelfSeal", and Continental sells them under the name "ContiSeal" - in each case a logo on the tire wall designates this innovation. The system behind all of these is identical: unrestricted driving is made possible by a layer of a sticky sealant on the inside of the tire. If a foreign object punctures the running surface, the hole is hermetically sealed, so that no air escapes. And it doesn't matter whether the foreign object remains in the tire or not. In addition, no water can seep into the tire and cause rusting of the steel belt.
Because in many cases the driver does not notice the damage at all, when using these tires you should regularly check for any nails or screws in the tread. If so, it is recommended that you see a tire specialist, who will examine the damage more closely and decide whether to repair it or replace the tire.
Tires with Seal Technology are changed and balanced just like standard tires and can be mounted on all typical rims. When repairing one of these tires, the sealant layer around the punctured area is removed. Of course, the tire can no longer seal itself if punctured again in this location. For this reason it is recommended (but not necessary) to use these tires in conjunction with a tire pressure control system.
Tires with Seal Technology are generally not offered as a separate product line, but rather as a supplement to the manufacturer's standard models. The reason: their driving characteristics are identical. This includes rolling resistance, wet traction, and noise emission. For example, the Pirelli Cinturato All Season offers Seal Inside. In a test over more than five hours with a nail and a screw in one of the tires, an Alfa Giulietta 1.4 Turbo 105CV was driven safely, comfortably, and free of any problems for 452 km at an average speed of 84 km/h. During this time the air pressure dropped by only 0.1 bar.
Several car manufacturers have already recognized the advantages of Seal Technology and are equipping new cars in the mid-range and higher classes with these tires. Continental claims 80 percent, and Pirelli 85 percent, of tire damage can be prevented with this innovation. This increases driver safety immensely, as tire damage is a frequent cause of accidents. Moreover, strain on the environment is reduced since Seal Technology saves resources, as there are fewer damaged tires to dispose of.
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