Tire installers aren’t big fans of sealants, since the black goo used for emergency repairs can be virtually impossible to clean from a damaged casing.
Schneider, however, has been adding the material to tires that aren’t even flat.
Sealants are being fed into the pumpkin-colored fleet’s trailer tires that have been retreaded for the final time, in a bid to prevent flats caused by small punctures in the tread.
“Overall, sealants do their job. However, they don’t significantly add to the life of the tire or mitigate tire wear,” vice-president of purchasing Steve Graham told Motortruck. “Additionally, the sealant ingredient, glycol, breaks down the bond between the steel components and rubber components in the tires.”
Nor will the practice prevent against sidewall damage, since the spinning forces of the wheel will sling the protective layer to the outside of the tire. But the use of the sealant can still be cheaper than a flat.
There’s another reason re-treaders can’t have another crack at the tread before it goes to the scrap heap — the sealant’s flashpoint is lower than the heat required to re-cure a tire, and the result would be a tire fire.
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