|Bridgestone building the future with Run Flat tyres|
|Safety is right at the top of the motoring agenda. After seat belts, ABS and airbags, car manufacturers have now developed active driving assistance systems, such as traction control and computer controlled stability programmes. More recently still, tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) have appeared as optional equipment, with a clear trend to standard fitment. Closely linked to this development, tyres with Run Flat Technology (RFT) are proving to be the next step forward in car safety.|
|The safety, comfort and convenience of Run Flat Technology|
|It's not difficult to see why more and more car manufacturers are fitting RFT tyres to their new models. The first safety benefit is that if a vehicle in motion suffers a rapid loss of tyre pressure, RFT enables the driver to maintain control and possibly avoid a potentially fatal situation. Secondly, RFT tyres enable the driver to leave the risk area, continue the journey, and avoid the dangerous habit of jacking up the vehicle on the roadside.|
RFT also provides more comfort and convenience for the motorist. Within the specified speed and distance limits (typically 80 kph for up to 80 km), the driver can either complete his journey or travel to the next qualified service station, with no worry about having to change a flat tyre. An added benefit is that RFT usually saves weight, by eliminating the need to carry a spare tyre. Of course, the free space created by eliminating the classic spare wheel gives the car manufacturer extra design opportunities and offers the end user more storage space. An onboard tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is mandatory for all RFT fitments.
|Bridgestone's advanced Run Flat Technology|
|Two of the areas Run Flat Technology focuses on are rigidity and heat resistance, so that the tyre can support weight when it is rotating with total air loss. Bridgestone's new Potenza RE050 RFT meets this challenge with a combination of design, materials and construction changes that optimise the location, shape and physical property of each tyre component:|
- The sidewall is constructed with reinforced rubber, carrying the vehicle's weight at zero-pressure;
- While the bead shape configuration itself is unchanged, so that the Bridgestone RFT tyre is compatible with conventional rims, the bead wire is wider and reinforced, ensuring a secure fit on the rim even at zero pressure, and a special bead filler with low heat generation is used.