Enhancing Military Vehicle Performance with Run-Flat Tires

Sep 18, 2023 | Counteract Products, Technical

Meeting Extreme Demands

Military tires are subjected to extreme conditions, demanding meticulous design and functionality. These tires must withstand heavy payloads, rugged terrains, and high-stress scenarios. The last thing military vehicles can afford is a tire failure during active duty.

Run-Flat Technology Overview

Therefore, most military tires employ some form of run-flat technology, with ongoing exploration into airless tire innovations. Presently, there are four types of “run-flat” tires. It is crucial to clarify that the term “run-flat” should not be misconstrued as signifying tire indestructibility; these tires still require maintenance and are susceptible to failure if not maintained.

Exploring Run-Flat Tire Varieties
  1. Self-Supporting Run-Flat Tires: The self-supporting run-flat tire features reinforced sidewalls that offer additional structural support when the tire loses air pressure. These tires typically boast a maximum speed of 50 mph and can travel up to 50 miles after sustaining a puncture.
  2. Auxiliary-Supported Run-Flat Tires: Auxiliary-Supported Run-Flat Tires are gaining popularity due to their incorporation of foam or support rings that attach to the wheel and fill the tire cavity. This technology enables continued operation for up to 100 miles, even after punctures or high-caliber bullet holes. While these tires enhance ride comfort, a drawback is their dependency on specific wheel designs, limiting tire selection.
  3. Self-Sealing Tires: Self-sealing tires are essentially standard tires with an added liquid or gel-like sealant inside, which automatically seals punctures and fills the puncture hole upon object removal. Most vehicle operators may not even realize their tires have been punctured due to the rapid effectiveness of these sealants. They can repair punctures of up to 3/16th of an inch. However, in a military combat situation, it is imperative to ensure the capability to repair punctures larger than 3/16th of an inch to ensure continuous vehicle operation.
  4. Airless Tires: Airless tires represent the latest addition to the run-flat tire category and appear to be among the most effective options for military combat scenarios. These innovative tire designs incorporate a web-like or honeycomb structure, eliminating the need for air entirely. Although still in the conceptual phase, ongoing research and testing are conducted regularly. Current drawbacks include flat spots when parked for extended periods and heat buildup at high speeds.

In summary, selecting the appropriate run-flat tire option depends on the specific operational requirements of the vehicle.

Balancing for Optimal Performance

It’s important to know that most 4×4 off-road tires don’t have run-flat technology. In these situations, it’s a good idea to think about using Counteract Balancing Beads to make sure the tires are balanced correctly. Since these tires are large, heavy, and have rugged treads, regular wheel weights might not work well enough. That’s why most customers prefer our balancing beads to ensure the smoothest and most dependable ride possible.

Visit counteractbalancing.com/tested to learn more about Counteract Balancing Bead technology!

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