Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Business Impact

Chameleon Tire

New material changes colors to indicate potentially dangerous underinflation.

More than a quarter of all passenger vehicles on the road in the United States have one or more underinflated tires-a condition that can lead to tread separation and blowouts. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration estimates that up to 10,000 injuries could be prevented annually if all vehicles had systems that warned drivers of underinflation. Frank Kelley of the University of Akron in Ohio and Barry Rosenbaum of Omnova Solutions, a chemical company in Fairlawn, OH, have devised a simple solution: a rubber material that changes color from black to red when tire temperatures rise above 77 C (underinflated tires get much hotter than properly inflated tires). The special rubber contains a material that changes color in response to temperature; a strip of the rubber could be built into the sidewalls of tires, visible as a red ring when things get too hot. The researchers have formed a company called TCS Polymers and hope to sell the rubber to the tire industry in three to five years.

More from Business Impact

How technology advances are changing the economy and providing new opportunities in many industries.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Online Only.
  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.