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Video - Retreads, keep airlines rolling !

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A worn car tyre can be replaced, a worn aircraft tyre, however, is effectively renewed several times using the technique of retreading. Experts in the subject are to be found at a Michelin plant in Bourges (central France).

The principle is simple; the outer portion of the worn tyre tread is removed and replaced by a new one.

Guillaume Bouquant, Michelin factory manager in Bourges: watch the interview in the video.

In using this method, 60-70 % of raw material in the spent tyre is saved. A tyre that requires retreading is being tested and verified to see if the carcass, that is to say the basic part of the tyre, is not damaged too much, because if this is the case, retreading is not possible. In the best cases however, this can be redone up to six or seven times. Regarding price, it’s hard to say, because airlines do not buy retreads directly.

Guillaume Bouquant, Michelin factory manager in Bourges: watch the interview in the video.

Airlines have a sort of “all encompassing contract” with the tyre manufacturer. This contract will include: new tyres, retreading, and guarantee a certain number of landings - a sort of “all inclusive" package. One last detail, the retreading technique concerns tyres for commercial aircraft with a diameter greater than 15 inches because this industrial process requires expensive specific investments, therefore, retreading smaller tyres, like those for small ‘planes for example, would not be cost effective.

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