Tire Sealants: Some Sticky Issues

Tire Sealants: Some Sticky Issues

Tire sealants designed to stop inflation loss from punctures and other casing injuries have been around for a long time. Traditionally, widespread uses have been concentrated in abusive (to tires) service conditions, such as mining, off-road construction, certain agricultural equipment, and similar mixed service (on/off road) applications.

Most sealants are made up using a viscous carrier that is fluid or semi-fluid and a second component of fibers or similar types of solid material in suspension. This solid material actually performs the sealing process when the tire is punctured. Typically, nail hole type punctures up to 1/4-in. diameter are sealed successfully, while larger, structural injuries are generally beyond the ability of sealants to repair. A second type of sealant makes use of a soft highly-viscous (yet pliable) rubber material built inside the traditional tire innerliner when the truck tire is new.

So what are some of the things a fleet should consider when debating to use or not use sealants? First, define how big a problem you currently have with puncture related road calls or unscheduled tire shop time. Include the negatives of delayed freight deliveries, the expense of road service, the risk of getting a non-preferred replacement tire on short notice, and the vulnerability of having a truck sitting on the roadside or worse yet, blocking traffic (e.g. Urban Waste Haul Pickup). Use expense records and try to quantify as accurately as possible all savings where records don’t exist.

Next, consider the added expense of purchasing and installing the liquid sealant or, in the case of new tires with the integral sealing lining, the added new tire cost. One nearly universal issue is that all liquid sealant must be removed from the tire interior at the pull point for retreading to allow for a pre-processing inspection. This entails a shop labor expense Also, note that most tire manufacturers consider sealants to be “temporary” repairs. Therefore, liquid sealant must be removed in most cases to make a permanent plug/patch repair to assure long term casing integrity. It follows that tire shop repair expenses should be added, recognizing that these can be scheduled and premium road calls and overtime rates should not apply. It’s also a good idea to consult with new tire and retread suppliers to make sure that casing warranty coverage won’t be affected unless the cause of failure can be directly related to use of the sealant. Tire manufacturers generally frown on the presence of any moisture inside the tire casing, especially in long life, multiple retread linehaul service. Therefore, make sure that any liquid based sealants include necessary corrosion inhibitors to protect steel belt and casing reinforcement cables in the area of the puncture.

This issue is exaggerated for tires in linehaul service and diminished for tires in wastehaul and other on/off road service. Premature corrosion of steel rim surfaces in the contained inflation area can also be an issue, since some glycol based liquid sealants become acidic over time with repeated heat cycling typical of, for example, high frequency stop/start and other high brake heat service. Therefore, more frequent steel wheel/rim re-finishing may be required.

Another issue to be considered is sealant compatibility with any sensors such as used by some tire pressure maintenance/sensing systems (TPMS). Manufacturers of these devices should be consulted. The expense of removal and final disposal of sealant materials must also be considered. TMC Recommended Practice (RP 246) titled “Considerations For Products Intended For Use Inside Tires”, especially the section titled “Evaluation Guidelines”, should be reviewed and contains a useful checklist of the more important issues to consider prior to sealant use in your operation.

You May Also Like

Yokohama Off-Highway Tires releases new Galaxy MFS 101 forklift tire

The Galaxy MFS 101 Severe Duty Solid tire comes in 28 sizes, for rims ranging from 8- to 15 in.


Yokohama Off-Highway Tires recently released the Galaxy MFS 101 severe duty solid tire that it says combines solid construction with a heat-dissipating design, more rubber above the 60J wear limit and a high-performance steel bead design to transfer torque with reduced slip. Yokohama Off-Highway Tires launched the MFS 101 SDS in 28 sizes, for rims ranging from 8- to 15 in.

Yokohama Launches Extreme Traction Tire for Fleets

The 907W tire, which replaces the SY767, carries the 3PMS symbol and is available now in the U.S. in three sizes.

Continental Introduces New Valve Cap Tire Monitoring Sensor

The manufacturer said this sensor works with all of Continental’s digital tire monitoring solutions products.

Continental Launches New Tires for Medium-Duty Trucks

Continental developed the 19.5-inch General RA 2 and RD 2 tires to meet the needs of Class 4 and 5 vehicle applications.

GT Radial Team Tire Cup
Michelin Launches New Defender Tire Series for Trucks, SUVs

Michelin added two new tires to the Defender line – the M/S2 all-season and the Platinum.

michelin combo

Other Posts

Hankook Tire launches Kinergy XP all-season, grand touring tire 

The Kinergy XP is the first grand touring tire in the Kinergy line-up designed for compact, medium, and large and high-performance SUVs, as well as sedans.

GRI introduces new radial flotation tire, the Green XLR F88

The Green XLR F88 was specially designed and developed for slurry tankers and trailers.

Nokian Tyres releases Nordman Solstice 4 ‘value option’ all-weather tire

The 3PMSF-certified tire is available in more than 50 sizes between 15 and 20 in.

Tips for recommending the right light truck tire

Talking to customers about LT tires starts with understanding the nuances in the segment.