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Run-Flat Technology tyres or RFT's are tyres that can still run, even when there is no air pressure or if there is a puncture/leak in the tyre. These tyres are designed specifically for the purpose of remaining functional, for a limited amount of time, with no air pressure in the tyre and allow you to drive up to 70Kms with a flat tyre or no air. Run-flat tyres have been developed with reinforced tyre sidewalls and rubber clips for the rims, so you can now start to worry less about getting a flat tyre at the most inconvenient time and can still support the weight of your car for you to keep on driving safely.
There are two types of Run Flat Tyres(RFT)-
- Self Healing Tyres-The internal support ring is a less common design of run-flat tyre. When the tyre becomes deflated, it rests upon the internal ring, which supports the vehicle and maintains both the tyres shape and its contact with the road. The support ring is made of rubber, bonded to a lightweight metal ring that is fitted to the wheel inside the tyre. In case of air loss, the ring supports the vehicle and fixes the tyre bead onto the wheel rim. These automatically seal any puncture. The technology reduces the amount of air lost compared to a standard tyre with a puncture. However, it’s often deemed the less efficient run flat option because it allows air to leave before the sealing layer becomes active.
- Self-supporting tyres -The Self-Supporting Runflat (SSR) technology is based on a self-supporting reinforced sidewall. When there is a puncture, the sidewalls stiff construction prevents it from being crushed between the rim and the ground, as well as the tyre from slipping off the rim, which can make it impossible to fit a spare tyre. This contains a lightweight metallic ring to support the car’s weight once a puncture has been made. They also have reinforced side walls to ensure that the bead stays in contact with the wheel rim – this often slips away on punctured conventional tyres, creating contact between the rim and the road.
- You don’t have to change your tyre in dangerous or uncomfortable conditions. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of run flat tyres and is one of the reasons why they were designed. With conventional tyres, you have to replace a flat on the spot or have your car towed to a safe location
- In a puncture situation, run flats are more stable than conventional tyres. Since they’re made to support your vehicle even when they contain no air, run flat tyres will help you maintain better control in a complete air loss situation than conventional tyres
- The reinforced sidewalls can help you keep control of your car after getting a puncture, which is good news for your safety and wellbeing.
- Lower vehicle weight: With the spare and tyre repair tools eliminated, vehicle weight should go down. But it's not as much as you might expect, since run-flat tyres weigh more than regular tyres, due to the added sidewall reinforcement.
So, if you’re a long distance driver, you don’t know how to change a tyre, or you’re not with a road service provider (the list could go on!), fitting your vehicle run-flat flat tyres might just save the day if you ever happen to get a puncture.