Self-inflating tires, also known as automatic tire inflation systems (ATIS), are an innovative technology designed to maintain optimal tire pressure without the need for manual intervention. These tires help improve vehicle performance, fuel efficiency, and tire life by constantly monitoring and adjusting tire pressure as needed.
The technology behind self-inflating tires varies depending on the manufacturer, but most systems use either a mechanical or electronic method to adjust the tire pressure. Some systems use a small pump that is powered by the motion of the tire to inflate or deflate the tire as needed. Other systems use sensors and electronic controls to regulate tire pressure.
There are two primary types of self-inflating tire systems:
- Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS): This system is primarily used in heavy-duty vehicles, like military vehicles and off-road trucks. CTIS connects all tires to a central air source, such as an onboard air compressor. The system can regulate tire pressure depending on the driving conditions, like off-roading or highway driving. The driver can also manually select a desired tire pressure based on their needs.
- Peristaltic Pump System: This type of self-inflating system is more common in passenger vehicles. A peristaltic pump is integrated into the wheel rim, using the rotational motion of the wheel to pump air into the tire. When the tire pressure is lower than the pre-set optimal pressure, the pump is activated, and air is transferred from the atmosphere into the tire. Conversely, if the tire pressure exceeds the optimal level, a pressure release valve allows excess air to escape.
Benefits of self-inflating tires include:
- Improved fuel efficiency: Properly inflated tires have less rolling resistance, which results in better fuel economy.
- Increased tire life: Underinflated tires wear out more quickly, while overinflated tires are more prone to damage from
Overall, self-inflating tires can provide a convenient and reliable way to maintain optimal tire pressure and improve the performance and safety of your vehicle. However, they may be more expensive than traditional tires and require special equipment or expertise for installation and maintenance.