You’re driving the Flinders Ranges on a track notorious for sharp rocks. Even though you’ve done the right thing with tyre choice, pressure and speed, yet another of your Coopers or BF Goodrichs gets skewered. It’s the third time this bloody trip! But you don’t stop to put on a spare. You don’t stop to grab your tyre repair kit. You don’t even stop to use the satellite phone to call roadside assistance.
In fact, you don’t stop at all. That’s because before you even know you have a puncture your tyre has repaired itself. Instead of that awful hiss of air followed by the sound of crumpled rubber rolling on gravel, you hear nothing but that Cold Chisel tune you are merrily singing along to, totally out of key – “First thing you know I’ll be back in Bow River again …”
What’s going on here? You haven’t stopped because before you left on this trip you pumped a product called Air-Seal inside your tyres.
It lives as a liquid there, evenly spread over the inside surface and quietly minding its own business until the moment that puncture happens. Then the magic starts. The centrifugal force of your spinning tyre plus the high-pressure air rushing through the puncture instantly force the liquid into the gap.
Inside the liquid are millions of fibre particles that lock together and plug the hole as they try to squeeze through it. Tiny filler particles block any remaining gaps between the fibres. It is a mechanical process, not a chemical one. (Air-Seal reckons its product will work on holes up to 30mm).
This all happens within a few revolutions of the wheel – so rapidly that drivers sometimes don’t realise they’ve had a puncture.And that doesn’t matter because Air-Seal is no temporary fix. It will last as long as the legal life of your tyre, according to Air-Seal.
If there’s a nail lodged in your tyre and you pull it out, Air-Seal will also plug that hole as long as you immediately drive the vehicle to let the sealant do its stuff. Air-Seal is a British company, founded in 2000,
that reckons its product is superior to anything else on the market. It claims the product works 95 per cent of the time in tubeless tyres, and 75 per cent of the time in tubed tyres, and its customers include Britain’s postal service and military.
Go to air-sealproducts.com for more information.
HOW DO YOU INSTALL IT?
As well as a bottle of Air-Seal, you’ll need a valve core tool and something to re-inflate your tyre with. Have the tyre positioned so the valve is at two o’clock. Remove the valve core with the valve core tool and deflate the tyre. Attach the supplied hose to the valve stem, cut open the top of your bottle of Air-Seal and squeeze the desired amount of liquid into the hose and on into the tyre. Then replace the valve core and re-inflate the tyre to the correct pressure.
Words: Dan Lewis