Self-sealing protection against tyre failure
Drivesafe tyre sealants aim to reduce vehicle downtime by sealing punctures as they occur
Excessive heat build-up within tyres operating below the right pressure is the biggest cause of tyre failure. The heat increases the tyre’s rolling resistance and drag along the road surface which can have an impact on the overall vehicle's fuel consumption over a period of time. Furthermore, punctures and blowouts cause tyre related accidents, which lead to vehicle and equipment downtime. To prevent machines from becoming inactive for repairs due to tyre failures, construction and fleet companies use tyre sealants to ensure extended mobility in the event of punctures and reduce overall tyre expenditure.
Drivesafe, a relatively new entrant in the UAE market, is offering a self-sealing solution to roadside tyre replacement and vehicle downtime. Manufactured in the UK by Drivesafe C-lant, the Drivesafe tyre sealant is distributed in the Middle East by Crème de Luxe International Group of Companies, which also holds the exclusive rights to distribute DriveSafe in India and Pakistan.
The sealant, an odourless gel that has a green colour with blue tint, is made of inorganic thixotropic aqueous glycol solutions and recycled rubber crumb. According to the manufacturer, the sealant increases tyre life by 25% and is eco-friendly as it breaks down and dissolves slowly in water.
Arifa K.A, founder and group managing director, Crème de Luxe, says: “Friction makes outer tyre wear inevitable. However, Inner tyre wear happens due to heat, which Drivesafe mitigates with its cooling properties. Keeping tyres sealed, cool and under the right pressure prevents vehicle accidents and downtime and reduces wear and tear by 25%. The sealant also has anti-corrosive properties that prevent rims from getting damaged. The product is non-toxic, non-flammable, and does not require special certificates for transportation by air, sea and road. It needs to be installed only once during the legal life of a tyre. All these benefits make the Drivesafe sealants cost effective and eco-friendly.”
Arifa K.A, founder and group managing director, Crème de Luxe
This is how Drivesafe works. The sealant is pumped into the tyre through the tyre valve. It distributes itself in a forward motion as the wheel rotates and adheres onto the inner tread of the tyre creating a protective layer. In the event of a foreign object penetrating through the tyre casing and passing through the protective layer on the inner tread section of the casing, the air pressure within instantly forces the protective gel into the puncture to seal it from inside. Sealing the puncture instantly while the vehicle is in motion helps to maintain the correct tyre pressure and avoids the build-up of additional heat. It also maximises the tread life of the tyre.
Developed for on-road and off-road applications, the Drivesafe sealant is available in three grades: highway grade, commercial grade and heavy duty plus grade. The highway grade, suitable for cars, vans and SUVs, can seal approximately up to 5mm within the crown area of the tyre. The commercial grade, suitable for trucks and buses, can seal approximately up to 7mm and is used extensively in vehicles for general haulage, recycling and waste transfer. The heavy duty plus grade is designed for use in heavier ply tyres working in harsh environments. This grade has additional strength and elasticity which can be used either as a pre-puncture treatment or post-puncture treatment. The product’s sealing capabilities depend on the strength of tyres. In heavier ply industrial tyres, the product can seal up to 15mm.
If the width of the puncture is below the width limits for each grade, then the puncture will seal itself immediately. In the event of a large puncture where its width is larger than the width limits for each grade, the sealant reduces the rate of deflation and enables the driver to bring the vehicle to a stop in a controlled manner and thus eliminates an instant tyre blowout.
“Any vehicle, whether a car, truck or construction machine using tyres, faces the risk of tyre punctures and blowouts. In any application, tyre sealants allows vehicles to continue their journeys by sealing punctures instantly and reducing risks involved in roadside tyre changes. Drivesafe sealants are not affected by heat build-up and they do not dry out or separate in the tyre after a short period of time, which is a common problem with inferior products available in the market. Unlike fluid-based sealants that wash away within the tyre and from punctures, the Drivesafe gel adheres to the tyre more effectively,” says Arifa.
Crème de Luxe has started supplying Drivesafe to Sharjah-based environmental, recycling and waste management company Bee’ah, which is using currently using the sealant in its earthmoving equipment. Mohamed Abdulrahman Al-Bahar has started testing Drivesafe sealants in Cat skid steer loaders.
Salim Obaid Ali, workshop manager, Bee’ah, says: “As a fleet operator our biggest concern is to maintain the full availability of our fleet and minimise breakdown. Drivesafe tyre sealant helps us increase the performance of tyres and eliminate unexpected downtime, which saves our tyre maintenance and replacements costs.”