The Fox Farm Arctic ice testing center in Ivalo, Finland, is now owned by the Michelin group. The tire maker has operated the site for more than 20 years on an exclusive basis, regularly carrying out its testing and approval for winter tires there. By acquiring ownership of the site, Michelin guarantees that it can control its own test equipment and top up its winter testing resources.
The site covers 60 hectares and has 20 hectares of tracks including a 1.7km-long snow test track; five 500-800m platforms for longitudinal testing (braking and acceleration); two ice tracks; four circular tracks for testing transversal grip; an 8% ramp dedicated to start-up/acceleration tests; and facilities for assembly, storage and vehicle maintenance.
Michelin has also developed a new tire sealant technology that. The emergency tire repair product is quick and easy to use and does not require any tools. Comparative tests have reportedly shown that the sealant is more likely to effectively repair punctures than leading competitor products.
The technology does not only repair the puncture but also re-inflates the tire to a safe pressure for the motorist to continue their journey until the tire can be checked over by an expert. Motorists are able to drive at up to 50mph (80km/h) after using the new product, which does not leave a thick, sticky residue inside the tire, but can simply be washed off with warm water. This means it is more likely that the puncture can be permanently repaired, saving money for the motorist.
December 17, 2015