Folding sidewall advance in tyre technology

By Stephen Cadogan

New agricultural tyres with sufficient run-flat capability to finish a day’s farm work, even with zero air pressure, and which enable stable driving even with low inflation pressures, are heralded for “combining the advantages of both radial agricultural tires and tracks”.

They will be put on show at the SIMA Paris International Agribusiness show (February 24-28) by Galileo Wheel, the Israeli company which first unveiled their CupWheel Tyre in 2013, but which has now worked with Mitas, part of the Trelleborg group, one of Europe´s leading tyre brands for agricultural machines, to market this tyre breakthrough.

It is claimed to be one of the few big changes in over 100 years since the invention of the pneumatic tyre.

The Galileo Wheel tyre has a folding sidewall, to allow the outer circumference change its shape freely, and adapt to on-road and off-road conditions.

A reduction in air pressure in the tyre causes the sidewall to fold, which results in far less heat generation and deformation, compared to the sidewall collapse in a standard tyre.

These features provide the Galileo Tyre with:

    a very large footprint for very low ground pressure;

    natural, nearly unlimited run-flat capability at high speeds;

    structural stiffness for high handling capability at any pressure;

    and a rolling circumference that stays the same regardless of air pressure.

The concept is designed to maximise efficiency, reduce soil compaction, and minimise downtime.

There is uniform load distribution across the tyre’s large footprint, and the manufacturers claim better traction, improved ride comfort and safety, increased durability of tread and side walls, and better lateral stability for improved steering and slope performance.

Therefore, the tyres evenly distribute the machine’s weight on the ground, while exerting reduced ground pressure, to significantly reduce soil compaction.

The improved traction efficiency reduces tyre slippage, leading to lower operational costs and greater fuel savings.

The company suggests Galileo tyres allow a small tractor to do a larger tractor’s job with minimal field damage.

As a result of Galileo’s licensing agreement with Mitas, part of the Trelleborg group, Trelleborg launched PneuTrac agricultural tyres last year, claiming unbeatable performance on steep slopes and muddy terrain.

Aimed in particular at vineyards, where the roots of vines are susceptible to tyre damage, PneuTrac tyres have Galileo’s CupWheel sidewall.

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