Tires could trade studs for garnets
This edited article, by Miles Moore, 1st appeared in Rubber & Plastics News
In April 1978, Scheller obtained a patent on the Garnetread technology, and applied in April 2019 for a second patent that includes a formula to improve the adhesion of garnets to tread rubber. "The garnets become part of the tire itself," Scheller said. "Testing shows less wear on pavement and concrete and better traction and stopping distances than (with) regular rubber and studs."
Tires made with Garnetread have been independently tested by WSU on dry, wet, snowy and icy pavements, according to the Garnetread website. They also have been tested by the U.S. Department of Transportation and by other independent testing groups, it said.
Winter tires could get a makeover. "Vehicles equipped with Garnetread tires stop on ice in a shorter distance than the same vehicle equipped with studded tires while facilitating positive control," the website said. Washington, Oregon, Michigan and Minnesota have designated tires using the Garnetread technology as approved traction devices, according to Scheller. "To the best of our knowledge, all 50 states have had Garnetread rubber truck precure on their road systems," he said.
Garnetread also has contacted the Federal Aviation Administration about the process for certifying aircraft tires using Garnetread, according to Scheller.
To date more than 100,000 tires have been manufactured using Garnetread's technology, according to Scheller. The process involves mixing garnets with rubber in the mill and then cutting the tread rubber to size for precure molds, he said. Oliver Tire & Rubber Co. made retreaded tires using the Garnetread process before the company was sold to Michelin, according to Scheller.
Garnetread has received offers from China to make tires there, but the company has no interest in tire manufacturing, according to Scheller. "We don't want to make or sell tires," he said. "Our goal is to license and sell technology, and act as advisers."
Updated Garnetread Information:
The Sale Price is $ 150,000 + .15 (cents) royalty per tire. Payment in US dollars. Purchase price includes all patent rights, website, product training and formula process information including materials supply sources and supplier details.
Peter J. Poullos