Global Air Cylinder Wheels® says it is gearing up to launch a commercially-ready product for mining based on its Air Suspension Wheel (ASW) solution, an eco-friendly, stronger, and safer traditional rubber tyre alternative.
The ASW, which is up to 60% more economical over the lifetime of the wheel, according to the company, combines an inner steel hub with an outer steel drum connected by eight or twelve nitrogen-filled air cylinders and up to six oil-filled dampers that provide suspension and damping. On the outer drum, individually bolt-on steel or polyurethane treads are fitted. These individual treads can be replaced without removing the wheel, a time-consuming process that takes up to eight hours with off-the-road rubber tyres, the company claims.
Notable features and benefits of the ASW the company pointed out include:
- Mechanical wheel design that is adjustable to payload, speed, sideload, size, weight and other requirements;
- No overheating;
- Safer – can’t explode;
- Less waste – only the part that wears off is replaced;
- Uses more sustainable materials than traditional OTR tyres;
- Treads made with biodegradable materials;
- Lower rolling resistance that leads to less fuel, which reduces toxic emission gases or extends greater battery range for electric vehicles;
- Longer lifetime – lasting approximately 10-15 years;
- Braking energy gets stored in the cylinders and is returned as kinetic energy;and
- It is 100% recyclable.
The ASW technology currently has eight granted patents, with 52 patents pending.
The company says it has received multiple initial purchase orders and is expected to be fully commercialised within two years with rapid adoption into mining fleets.
Dr Zoltan Kemeny, President and CEO of Global Air Cylinder Wheels, said: “We are planning to have a commercially-ready product for the mining market in Q1 (March quarter) 2023 where the need is most urgent. Then followed by over-the-road applications such as cars, buses and trucks.
“We are also looking to start developing other verticals next year.”