News

11th July 2018
Tyre sealant specialist Air-Seal Products gets a Twitter Boost from Theo Paphitis
Tyre sealant specialist Air-Seal Products gets a Twitter Boost from Theo Paphitis

 

 

 

 

A Wellington based firm has received a business boost from Retail Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis.   Last week, Air-Seal Products, tweeted Theo about their business during ‘Small Business Sunday’ and was one of six weekly winners to gain a retweet by Theo to his 500,000 Twitter followers.  The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, now has over 2200 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.

Business and retail entrepreneur and self-confessed Shopkeeper, Theo re‐tweeted Air-Seal Products message to his almost 500,000 followers and as a result, Air-Seal Products has more followers on social media.  They are also profiled on the #SBS website (www.theopaphitissbs.com) that is exclusive to all Small Business Sunday winners.

Alex Burnand Managing Director of Air-Seal Products said, We are delighted to be selected as one of the six weekly winners.  We’ve been in business for over eighteen years and to have support from someone like Theo is invaluable.  It can been tough trying to raise your social media profile and Theo Small Business Sunday has helped us achieve just that”

Mr. Paphitis said: “My vision is that everyone who has ever won a #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings.

Anyone looking for a re‐tweet from Theo should tweet him about their business on Sunday between 5pm and 7.30pm and include the hashtag #SBS.

 

26th June 2018
Transport Engineer - Tyres: Are tyre sealants appropriate for CV fleets?

 

 

Tyre sealants are claimed to provide remedial and preventative solutions to road damage. Fleet engineers need to understand where a vehicle is working and how far it travels before considering them. Kevin Swallow reports

 

Punctures are a problem Idris Stephens contends with every day, in his role as tyre fleet engineer at Smith’s (Gloucester). A mixed fleet of 150 vehicles works on duties such as waste management, where off-road work cannot be avoided.

In 2005, he discovered the heavy-duty liquid sealant from Air-Seal Products at the Hillhead Show in Buxton, Derbyshire (returning this month: 26-28 June). A trial proved that the tyre sealant could extend its tyres’ working lives, and save money. The fluid, either ethylene or propylene glycol-based, is poured inside the tyre, and is free to flow as it rotates. The tyre’s own air pressure forces fibres and fillers suspended in the fluid into the hole, and stops the leak.

“Once we started trialling it, we noticed the number of roadside incidents involving tyres reduce,” explains Stephens. “The fleet runs on 295, 315 and 385 tyres, and around 85% of the fleet now uses sealant. We spend around £200,000 a year on tyres.”

Smiths’ drivers regularly check tyres for foreign objects. Stephens adds: “We don’t want them pulling out nails just in case the sealant doesn’t take, and the tyre deflates. We do visual checks at the workshop and can tell if the tyre pressure is down. We’ll check it, take out the object and let the sealant do its work, then reflate the tyre back up to the correct pressure,” he says.

Determining exactly how successful the sealant has been for the fleet is difficult, he admits, but he does say that its vehicles tend to have less downtime since it started using the sealants. He also uses sealant on larger off-road plant vehicles, and in one case discovered a tyre with more than 20 nails, all successfully sealed.

Mike Smith, a technical representative for Air-Seal Products, describes tyre sealant as a “permanent temporary repair” to the tyre. At this year’s CV Show, he demonstrated how it works by driving nails into a tyre with a water-based sealant mix of rubber, Kevlar and porcelain (do not try this). Once the tyre was penetrated, he removed the nail and rotated the tyre, allowing the sealant to fill the puncture. He adds: “If the damage is too great, it manages the deflation rather than simply allowing the tyre to rapidly deflate. That will help you get to your destination and not be stranded beside the road.”

The sealant has found favour in UK fleets, reports Smith. “We supply Royal Mail, which uses it for their van fleet, with trials underway for heavy commercials as a preventative measure. It’s applied mechanically using a pump. A 295/80R22.5 tyre would typically take around 1.5 litres, and a litre weighs approximately 1kg.”

Although used in North America for more than 40 years, Belgian product Ultra-Seal was only introduced to Europe in 2016; Tamworth-based Trans UK Equipment Management is the UK distributor. The Ultra-Seal fluid, inserted before the tyre is mounted on the hub, includes rubber and fibres, and has an anti-rust and anti-corrosion formulation to protect the rim (pictured above).

As well as trials with major transport and logistics companies, Ultra-Seal also supplies Danish transport company DSV, which runs more than 7,000 trailers. “They have seen a reduction in punctures, blow-outs and breakdowns in tyres filled with Ultra-Seal. Tyres last about 35% longer due to better tyre pressure and therefore less tyre wear,” claims business development manager Carla van Santvoort.

A mix of short haul with off-road travel is the right scenario for using preventative tyre sealants, according to Stuart John. He is sales director of aftermarket firm Rema Tip Top Automotive UK. States John: “We are approached by a lot of plant hire companies, construction and off-road operators who use sealants in those situations where you might pick up a foreign object. That is where you have the benefit of tyre sealant.

“In my personal opinion, and with 30 years’ experience in the industry, I would not recommend a tyre sealant for long-haul,” he says. “You can pick up a nail in the tread area that penetrates the tyre. You don’t know what or how bad the injury of the tyre is; the tyre sealant could seal it temporarily for a few miles but the vehicle might travel another 200 miles. That injury is going to get worse to the point that it could blow the tyre, and the driver might not even have known he or she had a problem.”

Instead, he recommends long-haul operators fit a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that would identify a puncture or loss of pressure immediately. This technology may compete with the upper end of tyre sealant products. For example, Goodyear has stopped producing Duraseal, a sealant system that is part of the inner lining. It promotes its Proactive Solutions fleet monitoring system instead.

OTHER SUPPLIERS

Other tyre manufacturers still offer sealants for cars and light commercial vehicles: Continental produces ContiSeal, which is a viscous layer on the inner side of the tyre for punctures up to 5mm diameter. Michelin makes Selfseal; Pirelli produces Seal Inside tyres.

In general, tyre manufacturers steer clear of retro-applied remedial and preventative sealants, both as products and in commenting about their use. Multiple tyre manufacturers contacted declined to comment for this article.

But car recovery agency the AA did comment. About a quarter of respondents to a recent questionnaire run with a sealant-compressor solution rather than a full-size or space-saver spare tyre. It adds: “Sealant and a compressor saves space and weight, but won’t work for all punctures.”

If it does work, it is not considered a permanent repair, at least according to British Standard AU 159. This standard is referenced by the AA, charity Tyresafe, the British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (BTMA) and the IRTE’s own Bus and Coach Tyre Maintenance best practice guide (see link). The standard recommends that if drivers discover a foreign object, they should get the tyre checked at a garage and replaced if necessary. (According to Dexel Tyre & Auto Centre, BS AU 159 only applies to cars and vans, and not commercial vehicles or heavy plant.)

Belgian company Ultra-Seal took its battle to get sealants recognised as a genuine solution into court, and has prevailed over tyre associations in Germany and Denmark.

By extending tyres’ working life, even if only on a temporary basis, sealant suppliers are providing competition to Europe’s tyre manufacturers.

FURTHER INFORMATION

More about BS AU 159 – https://is.gd/biquze and https://is.gd/ulecok

Best Practice Guide for Bus & Coach Tyre Maintenance (IRTE) – https://is.gd/ukisap

 

Author
Kevin Swallow

 

20th June 2018
Air-Seal Products confirms silver membership with Constructionline
Air-Seal Products confirms silver membership with Constructionline

We are thrilled to announce that we have been officially awarded our Silver Membership with Constructionline!

Constructionline is a register of pre-qualified suppliers and buyers, to government standards and allows buyers and customers to know we have been pre-qualified which takes some of the hard work away from them.

 

 

30th May 2018
Prosegur Chile visit - May 2018
Prosegur Chile visit - May 2018

Pictured our Chilean distributor with another happy customer. Having tried an inferior tyre sealant, security company Prosegur continue to see the benefit of our premium sealants.

1st May 2018
Tyre-related deaths and injuries preventable say Highways England and Bridgest

Almost three quarters of motorway incidents related to tyre failure could be prevented if drivers carry out simple checks, according to startling new research unveiled by Highways England and tyre company Bridgestone.

More than 30 people were killed or seriously injured in motorway accidents in 2016 due to illegal or faulty tyres.

But an 18-month study says commuters, commercial drivers and other road users can do a lot more to help reduce accidents through regular checking.

To see Bridgestone’s tyre debris study brought to life, visit  https://youtu.be/-KSt1a1ndgc

Richard Leonard, Highways England’s head of road safety, said: “England’s motorways are the safest in the world but we’re determined to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on them.

“This important research confirms our view that road users must play a bigger role and get into the habit of checking tyre pressures and tread depths and looking out for nails and other debris stuck in tyres before setting out on journeys. These simple checks could save lives.”

Unveiled today at the annual Commercial Vehicle Show at Birmingham’s NEC, the research reveals that almost three quarters of tyre failure samples analysed by Bridgestone involved poor inflation or debris penetration issues – problems which could be potentially avoided with better tyre husbandry.

Both Bridgestone and Highways England, the government company for operating, maintaining and improving the country’s motorways and major A roads, are partners in the multi-agency road safety charity Tyresafe.  They worked together to carry out the research over 18 months between the beginning of 2016 and last summer.

During the project, staff working for Highways England at depots across the West Midlands provided more than 1,000 pieces of tyre debris from motorways to a technical engineering team from Bridgestone to analyse.

The findings from 1035 tyre segments retrieved from the M1, M6, M40, M5 and M42 revealed:

•           56% of tyres failed due to road/yard debris penetration
•           18% failed due to poor inflation
•           8% failed due to poor vehicle maintenance
•           1% of tyres failed due to manufacturing defects
•           1% of tyres failed due to excessive heat
•           16% of the tyres couldn’t be specified to one particular problem

The tyre debris was taken from cars, vans, commercial vehicles and motorbikes, with under-inflation of tyres a key theme, along with poor vehicle maintenance, both of which accounted for 26% of the entire sample. When considering that 32 people were killed or seriously injured in motorway road traffic accidents in 2016 due to ‘illegal, defective or underinflated tyres’ Bridgestone and Highways England say simple tyre checks save lives.

In addition, the cost to the economy from a 2-hour delay on a busy stretch of motorway following a 2-lane closure stands at £135,360 and a massive £1,488,960 for a 3-lane closure lasting up to four hours.

Some of the samples were particularly alarming, with a temporary ‘space-saver’ spare tyre being run to destruction, while a number of potentially lethal and illegal ‘string’ repairs were also found on car tyres, which are completely unsuitable at any speed, let alone 70mph speeds on motorways.

Bridgestone technical manager Gary Powell, who oversaw the analysis of the debris with field engineer Peter Moulding and the rest of the firm’s technical department, said:

“This report has taken a great deal of time and effort, involving a painstaking process of collecting tyre debris over 18 months and analysing it in depth thereafter. In conclusion, some simple tyre checks can save lives, not to mention reduce the risk of a stressful breakdown on a motorway.

“With proper vehicle inspection and maintenance programs, many of the failure methods noted should be detectable and preventable. In light of these results, we would also advise that tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are fitted to vehicles which don’t benefit from this technology already. It will assist with the detection of penetrations and deflations.”

30th April 2018
Expomin show in Santiago Chile.

Team Air-Seal at last week's Expomin show in Santiago Chile. Our 3rd year at this biannual mining event

 

 

26th April 2018
The use of Air-Seal in dumper tyres to assist in long term pressure maintenance

The following piece was published in Tyre Press news and explains the issues experienced with underinflated tyres in one particular piece of plant.

Having supplied 35,000 dumper truck tyres and wheels in the UK last year – 100 per cent of all dumper tyres for new trucks in our market – STARCO knows a thing or two about looking after these products. It’s therefore worth taking note when the company warns of the potential danger and additional cost of operating at low air pressure.

“Apart from accidental damage, the failure to maintain proper tyre pressure is the most important reason for premature tyre failure,” comments Phil Robbins, sales support engineer at STARCO. Robbins, who in a variety of previous technical roles at Michelin has gained nearly 30 years of tyre experience, explains in more detail:

“Tubeless tyres and valves are not completely airtight. They lose air naturally, as the air molecules pass slowly through the body of the tyre and valve, gradually reducing the air pressure. When running underinflated, the sidewall of the tyre is over flexing causing undue strain on the casing of the tyre.”

Consequences of underinflated tyres

Air pressure plays a very important role in vehicle stability, especially when working on gradients. Lower air pressure reduces the tyre’s sidewall stiffness, which in turn reduces the gradient specified as safe by the dumper manufacturer’s specifications.

“Due to the type of work that site dumpers do, empty/full/empty-cycles, a site dumper that is empty will appear to be okay, because the tyres will generally have more than enough pressure to support the empty weight of the vehicle. However, as soon as the skip is filled the tyre will be underinflated for the load,” explains Robbins.

This underinflated running can have damaging consequences: The tyre’s sidewall over-flexes, causing undue strain on the casing. In addition, the over-flexing causes the bead to rock over the rim flange/horn, wearing the bead, and can allow foreign matter to enter into the interface between tyre and wheel.

“A pressure maintenance schedule is vital to achieve a full tyre service life,” advises Robbins.

Maintenance tips

• Always check tyre pressures at least once a month.
• Always check the tyre pressure before use when the tyre is cold (un-run).
• Never reduce the pressure of a warm tyre.
• Always fit sealing valve caps after inflation and replace if damaged.
• Always inflate the tyres to the pressures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

3rd April 2018
Kwik Fit: Pothole damage becoming a costlier problem

Source: Kwik Fit
Source: Kwik Fit

A survey performed for Kwik Fit indicates that the pothole problem is getting worse in the UK, a trend that will surprise very few people. Based upon feedback from 2,049 respondents, it has been determined that pothole damage to vehicles last year cost a total of £915 million to repair. This is 34 per cent more than the cost calculated from a similar survey two years ago – and the rise can’t be explained away by increasing repair costs.

The average cost of repairing damage to components including tyres, wheels, suspension and bodywork has risen only slightly – from £108.60 in 2016 to £111 this year. However, the number of drivers whose vehicles have suffered damage skyrocketed over the last 24 months from 6.3 million drivers a year to 8.2 million.

Of the 2,049 people surveyed by Walnut (formerly ICM) for Kwik Fit in February and March 2018, 70 per cent said they have hit at least one pothole a week over the last twelve months, and 25 per cent reported hitting one every single day. Drivers in the north west of the country have the worst experience, with 36 per cent of drivers suffering a pothole impact on a daily basis.

Drivers blamed their pothole incidents on a cocktail of factors. 88 per cent cited road or weather conditions, such as the pothole being hidden by a puddle or it being too dark to spot, but 47 per cent also said they had to make a deliberate decision to hit the pothole as avoiding it would have compromised their own safety and that of other road users. With surprising honesty, nine per cent admitted that the impact was their own fault, as they were either not paying attention to the road surface or driving too fast to stop in time.

A quarter of drivers who have hit potholes over the last year have suffered costly damage to their car, with the most common repairs being to tyres – based upon feedback from the survey group, as many as 4.2 million tyres may have suffered damage. Similarly, Kwik Fit estimates 2.7 million cases of wheel damage nationwide, as well as 2.4 million cases of suspension damage and 1.2 million cases of damage to vehicle bodywork.

A clear majority of survey respondents believe that the condition of UK roads is deteriorating, with 76 per cent saying that the road surfaces on their most frequently made journeys are in a worse condition than five years ago and 52 per cent saying they are significantly worse. This mirrors the findings of the newly-published ALARM report from the Asphalt Industry Alliance, which reveals that one in five local roads are now classed as ‘structurally poor’ – a 20 per cent increase on last year.

Kwik Fit says the condition of the road network is having an impact on driver behaviour, some aspects of which are likely to make the situation even worse. One in eight drivers say they take a longer route than the most direct journey as it has better road surfaces, thus adding unnecessary wear and tear to both road and vehicles, as well as using extra fuel. An equivalent of 1.5 million drivers say the poor road surfaces have caused them to switch their car to a more rugged vehicle such as an SUV or 4×4, while 1 million have bought a cheaper vehicle that they don’t mind getting damaged.

The impact on vehicles has also led to drivers changing their car maintenance habits. Five per cent of respondents shared that they buy cheaper tyres as the road surfaces damage them before the tread wears out. However, four per cent admitted doing precisely the opposite, buying more expensive tyres that are better at coping with the poor condition of the roads. Six per cent said they have left damage to their car unrepaired as they are sure it will get damaged again soon.

“The poor condition of the road network is hitting motorists’ wallets ever harder,” comments Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit. “Unfortunately, experience of past years has shown us that the recent cold weather will only make the problem worse and we are likely to see even more drivers suffering serious damage from impacts with potholes.

“It’s important to note that while sometimes a pothole will cause a blow out to a tyre, in many cases the damage is not immediately obvious,” Griggs continues. “Often a pothole can cause a slow puncture, bulge on the inside tyre wall or hairline crack in the wheel rim which only becomes evident days after the impact. If any driver is concerned about the potential damage which a pothole has caused, they can bring it in to one of our centres and we will put their car on a ramp and carry out a thorough inspection to put their mind at ease.”

20th March 2018
Motorist stopped on the M55 for driving without a tyre
Motorist stopped on the M55 for driving without a tyre

Traffic police in North Lancashire have posted images on social media of a vehicle they stopped on Sunday in rather unusual circumstances.

Following a reports from members of the public, the patrol unit found the car driving on the short M55 motorway near Preston with an entire wheel missing.

The photographs show only the shattered remains of a wheel bolted to the front passenger side hub, with the rest of the wheel and tyre completely missing

14th March 2018
Air-Seal Products announce retail market expansion with Mole Valley Farmers

After eighteen years of national supply, Air-Seal Products Ltd is pleased to announce an expansion in the retail market.  The local Wellington, Somerset based company have recently teamed up with agricultural co-operative group Mole Valley Farmers and will see their products on shelves in stores across the region.  

Alex Burnand Managing Director says “This marks an exciting time for Air-Seal Products as Mole Valley are key players within the South West Agri market.  We are confident our tried and tested product will not disappoint in this target market and we are excited about this new partnership”.

Air-Seal Products sealants provide a major solution in tyre management and provide a high level of tyre protection. It is intended for use in both on and off-road tyre applications and can be used in small or large tyres from commercial vehicles to industrial and agricultural equipment.

The tyre sealant will be available for purchase in stores and online from the beginning of March.

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