AKRON, OH — The bright yellow tire-sealing gel that is DuraSeal technology matches a corporate color for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the company said in a release on January 27. A marketer’s dream for Goodyear’s blue and gold? Or just a coincidence for Goodyear’s DuraSeal technology that seals commercial tire tread punctures as they occur. Bina Patel Botts, team leader for radial medium truck tire materials, said the yellow sealant serves a technical purpose, namely to aid retreaders in finding puncture locations – not as a “flashy” material to promote the technology. Botts added that DuraSeal began as a black sealant, but the material was difficult to see in a black tire. Engineers opted for a color that could be easily detected by tire repair technicians. DuraSeal technology actually was born in concept passenger-car tires on an electric vehicle. The automaker specified fuel-efficient Goodyear sealant tires over liquid sealants that are used as temporary fixes for tire punctures. Liquid sealants are pumped in through the valve stem, but with mixed results, she said. In addition to creating a messy cleanup in tire repair, the tire and sealant must be rotating to seal a puncture; otherwise, the liquid “puddles” at the tire bottom. Liquid sealants also may create tire-balancing problems not seen with DuraSeal technology, since the gel is physically built into the tire, she added. Four years ago, Botts said, Goodyear engineers restarted sealant work on tires, this time for heavy-duty trucks. Market research showed that refuse and construction truck fleets were constantly repairing and replacing punctured tires, resulting in costly service calls and equipment downtime. “Goodyear turned to innovation to solve this expensive problem,” she said. “DuraSeal is a layer in tire construction, it reacts differently from other compounds during the curing process. “Most compounds harden when heat is applied. The DuraSeal compound takes on a chewing-gum consistency as the tire is cured. The compound instantly seals around nails and screws up to ¼-inch in diameter in the tread area. It fills in around the object, and if the nail is pulled out, it flows into the void.” DuraSeal technology allows truck drivers to continue driving after the tread is punctured. It allows the tire to remain in service until it is retreaded, she said. Botts said the company set up a demo tire at a Mack Truck event in Las Vegas. The Goodyear Unisteel G287 MSA mixed-service tire with DuraSeal technology sustained 51 punctures without a loss of inflation. DuraSeal technology will first be used in G287 MSA mixed-service tires in the 315/80R22.5 size. Other sizes – designed specifically for mixed-service work trucks, such as cement-mixer, refuse, logging and road-building heavy-duty trucks – will be available later. Applications of the bright yellow sealant that is a Goodyear corporate color are possible on other medium truck tires. And other colors are feasible. Just don’t expect a Goodyear blue.