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Machine Design
Wheel uses beam and spokes instead of inflatable tube

Wheel uses beam and spokes instead of inflatable tube

Engineers at Michelin headquartered in France, have designed and built a single unit, the Tweel, which can replace the wheels on skid-steer vehicles used in construction, landscaping, and agriculture. It needs no air pressure, so there’s no valve assembly, and the tire and wheel are combined in one component. It consists of a shear beam wrapped into a circle to carry the tread and is connected to a rigid, metal hub by deformable polyurethane spokes.

The Tweel has been proven to let skid-steer operators drive faster with more stability and less driver fatigue, improving productivity and safety.  The tread and consistent contact patch or footprint gives the Tweel two to three times the operational life of traditional pneumatic tires with similar tread depths.

The lack of air inside the Tweel eliminates flats and the need for maintenance checks for proper inflation pressure.

The current skid-steer Tweel can carry 4,400 lb at 9.3 mph, and measures 12.1-in. wide with a 32.7-in. diameter. The contact area is 61.4 in2.

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