The Arizona startup is reinventing the wheel for a cleaner environment


(January 17, 2023: Nick Thomas)

Air-suspended wheels for mining trucks and wheel loaders. (CREDIT: GACW)

Global Air Cylinder Wheels (GACW), an Arizona-based startup, has literally reinvented the wheel. They developed a new type of wheel that makes environmentally harmful rubber tires superfluous.

Many companies have tried to develop new tire solutions, such as B. Tesla, who may have switched to airless tires for their Model 3, but so far none have succeeded.

The so-called Air Suspension Wheel (ASW) is the idea of ​​the serial inventor and structural dynamics engineer Dr. Zoltán Kemeny.

The patented ASW is a mechanical wheel, mainly made of steel, with air suspension in the wheel by cylinders. It is both environmentally friendly and cost effective. The ASW is designed to have the same lifespan as the vehicle it is mounted on. After that, unlike rubber tires, it can be remanufactured or fully recycled.

GACW is currently focused on the $30 billion per year OTR mining market. Rubber OTR mining tires are expensive: for example, a typical 13,000 pound tire can cost as much as $75,000 with only 6 to 9 months of use. “That’s a big expense for a product that doesn’t last long,” the company said. On the other hand, the ASW lasts as long as the vehicle itself and thus saves up to 60% in costs.

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Another important feature of the ASW is the greatly reduced rolling resistance. This makes combustion engines more efficient and reduces emissions. For electric cars like Tesla, this would mean that the range can be increased by up to 30% with the same battery, which is significant.

Rubber OTR tires are also a major safety hazard as explosions are common. But with the ASW, overheated tires and explosions are a thing of the past.

Last but not least: OTR rubber tires are extremely harmful to the environment. In the mining industry, most rubber tires are not recycled. At the end of their natural life, rubber OTR tires are usually burned or buried in the ground because recycling is complicated, dangerous, and expensive.

The patented ASW is a mechanical wheel, mainly made of steel, with air suspension in the wheel by cylinders. It is both environmentally friendly and cost effective. (CREDIT: GACW)

A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health estimates that tires account for up to 10% of all microplastic waste in the world’s oceans. A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature put that figure at 28%.

The ASW lasts as long as the vehicle itself and thus saves up to 60% in costs. (CREDIT: GACW)

ASWs, on the other hand, are 100% recyclable.

ramp things up

While GACW is initially targeting the OTR sector, which includes mining, the global tire market is much larger and the company plans to enter that as well. However, given the significant number of vehicles involved in each mining project, the initial focus on mining could generate revenue in excess of $20 million per mine site.

tire building

And while the company may have competitors in the mid-market, it has no competitors in the global OTR sector.

In addition to this market, ASW technology can be applied to all vehicles currently using traditional rubber tires, which is estimated to be worth $322 billion in 2022.

To date, the company has raised $3 million and holds 4 patents with 13 more pending. It is also currently testing its ASW products with mining partners with an evaluation period of between 6 and 12 months. Production of the ASW product is planned to ramp up from 2022, with full commercialization expected in 2023.

“Right now, our plan is to expand our distribution network and start taking the tire industry by storm,” the company said.

As governments around the world are putting increasing pressure on tire manufacturers regarding disposal, GACW said this is the time for its products to be adopted by the industry. Companies like Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Hitachi (TYO: 6501) or Volvo (STO: VOLV-B), Komatsu (TYO: 6301) could end up as partners or customers in GACW’s future.

“Our wheels with air suspension are an effective and practical alternative to rubber tires,” it said. “They are up to 60% more economical, safer and more environmentally friendly than rubber tyres.â€

For more science and technology stories, visit our New Innovations section at The lighter side of the news.

Note: The materials provided above by Nick Thomas. Content can be edited for style and length.

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