Aircraft Tires: Material and Design Innovations to Drive Future Production

The rising number of developments in the terms of long term collaborations and innovations in aircraft tire manufacturing processes are key factors that are positively influencing the growth of the aircraft tire market. Higher numbers of production orders for new aircraft of different configurations coupled with a robust economy, particularly in developed countries such as Canada and the U.S., also play an essential role towards this end.

As per a recent study by Future market insights on the global aircraft tires market, manufacturers from across the globe are increasingly emphasizing on the utility of next-gen materials that provide users with improved performance while simultaneously complying with the numerous stringent safety norms associated with the aviation industry. Aircraft tire producers are also making use of new materials such as synthetic elastomer rubber or cross-linkable rubber to boost the properties of rubber compounds for newer tire variants which bodes well for the future prospects of tire manufacturers.

Intelligent Sensors Enable Wireless Maintenance Diagnostics

Global tire production leader Michelin joined hands with Safran Landing Systems, to develop a wirelessly connected tire for the aviation sector. The system makes use of electronic pressure sensors, which is embedded in the tire material, which extracts information about the tire’s inflation, and transmits it remotely to maintenance databases, thereby reducing the time needed by simplifying ground maintenance activities.

The relative expertise of both companies in regards to tire production by Michelin and electronics by Safran has been combined with the aim of meeting the needs of aircraft of different sizes and styles globally, with new awareness programs being used for promotional purposes. The project is expected to be deployed sometime during 2019.

In addition, the long lifespan of aircraft frames has resulted in high standards of safety regulations, and the mandatory replacement of old tires based on usage and wear and tear. Retread tires are also finding increased applications, as each tire aircraft can go through the retreading process for up to 10 times before being scrapped.

Moreover, in mid-2018, Michelin also launched its new range of Pilot® high performance bias tires, especially for usage in turboprop or piston-run aircraft. The tire is claimed to have an enhanced life-span, and lower maintenance requirements that can be attributed to ozone resistant rubber compounds used to create an enhanced tire structure, which utilizes natural contour-mold profiles. The tire has a built in tire balancing mechanism, and a groove design that has been developed especially to prevent hydroplaning, consequently boosting wet-weather safety.

Lightweight Tire and Wheel Assemblies Gain Application

Lately, the aviation industry has increasingly been making use of fiber-reinforced composite materials for fuselage and wing components for commonly used commercial aircrafts such as the Airbus A380, owing to the high material and specific stiffness. However, until now no manufacturer has used the material for aviation tire and wheel assembly.

The research division of Germany based is leading by innovations in this field through the development of the first ever fiber-reinforced composite nose wheel that is compatible for an Airbus A320 model. The project further aims to develop approximately 10 prototypes for different types of aircrafts.

Such wheels are anticipated to gain popularity rapidly owing to the increasing need of major airlines to reduce the weight of their aircrafts, for reduced fuel consumption, and rising payload, and general operational feasibility, without compromising on the prescribed safety regulations.

Automated Carousel Systems Streamline Inventory Management Processes

Struggling with inventory management, and aircraft tire storage processes, aviation company, Meggitt Aircraft Systems has installed an enclosed tire carousel system, to reduce space constraints, and systematic presentation of individual tires to staff at an ergonomic loading height to increase ease of operations, raising worker productivity, and creating more space for other revenue generation activities.

With Meggitt aiming towards, high density storage and retrieval systems the move also allows consolidation of warehousing locations, thereby saving time, and floor space, and allowing opportunities for storage of other small components and pallet storage zones within the same facility.

You can find additional insights on the activities of the global aircraft tire market by clicking here.

About the Author

Nikhil Kaitwade

With over 8 years of experience in market research and consulting industry, Nikhil has worked on more than 250 research assignments pertaining to chemicals, materials and energy sector. He has worked directly with about 35 reputed companies as lead consultant for plant expansion, product positioning, capacity factor analysis, new market/segment exploration, export market opportunity evaluation and sourcing strategies.

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