Ultraseal has been around a while — actually used by the U.S. military for 40 years, we’re told — but it’s new to Canada. It’s a tire sealant and tire life extender that, once injected into a tire through the valve stem, protects it from flats and punctures. It’s said to provide a permanent repair, unique among such products, and the tire is not hindered in any way.
When a tire is punctured, water-soluble Ultraseal coats the inner surface of the tire cavity, including the rim assembly, thus preventing air loss. As the tire rotates, flexing and normal heat build-up allows Ultraseal to "seek out and eliminate" common air-loss problems, the company says. It prevents the need to top up air pressure, and because it maintains proper air pressure you’ll get better fuel mileage.
Once installed it lies dormant until the vehicle is driven, and then the sealant is dispersed evenly throughout the tire’s entire inner surface. That transforms the tire assembly into a sealed air chamber, capable of maintaining proper air pressure. In the process, says the company, it "conditions" the rubber, retarding dry rot and slowing the casing’s ageing process. One treatment is good for the legal tread life of the tire.
Ultraseal is claimed to reduce heat, the key killer of tires, by acting as a conduit, drawing heat away from the tire and transmitting it to the wheel which in turn acts as a heat sink, cooling the tire.
It contains a proprietary rust-inhibiting formula to protect all types of steel and alloys found in wheels and tire belts and is said to be fully compatible with the components of any tire.
The Goodyear Duraseal tire uses a similar compound, by all accounts.
Ultraseal is completely water-soluble in its liquid state and leaves no residue when rinsed with plain water. Yet it won’t dissolve from within a wound after it has cured. As per the material safety data sheet prepared for WHMIS, the surfactants in Ultraseal are 90% biodegradable. The product is not considered hazardous under Transport Canada regulations.
The product is said to work in any tire — from bicycles to heavy trucks — and the cost is based on tire size. The cost to Ultraseal the average car is said to be about $13.50 per tire while a large commercial truck is about $32.00 per tire. That compares favourably, the company claims, with the cost to plug or patch a tire, especially when you factor in downtime and the cost of a roadside service call.
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