Improving on its already unique wheel technology, Air Suspension Wheel (ASW), Global Air Cylinder Wheels®️, (https://globalaircylinderwheels.com/), continues to develop the next generation of wheels for many industries, offering innovative environmental benefits, saving of fuel, reducing emissions and extending EV battery life.
(Photo: Conservaco/ The Ignite Agency)
READ ALSO: Reinventing the wheel with steel: Global Air Cylinder Wheels expands development of its disruptive eco-wheel that replaces polluting rubber tires at a lower cost of ownership
Made primarily of steel, ASW is an environmentally friendly, stronger and safer alternative to the highly polluting traditional rubber tire and is up to 60% more fuel efficient over the life of the wheel.
The ASW combines an inner steel hub with an outer steel drum that is connected to eight or twelve nitrogen-filled air cylinders and up to six oil-filled shock absorbers that provide suspension and damping. Individually bolted steel or polyurethane steps are mounted on the outer drum. These individual treads can be changed without removing the wheel, a time-consuming process that takes up to eight hours with OTR rubber tires.
Think of it as the wheel of the future…available today.
The Phoenix-based engineering company’s wheel technology has many intriguing advantages. The tire drop means no more overheating tires or dangerous explosions that can be associated with conventional tires. When a tire heats up, if the heat is not dissipated, it builds up, increasing tire pressure and becoming a troubling safety issue.
Then there is the environmental impact of ASW. Old rubber tires are often buried or burned, releasing harmful chemicals and heavy metals into the groundwater and air. Tires also end up in landfills, losing space or filling with water, creating a breeding ground for disease-carrying pests such as mosquitoes.
“Many industries operate under the status quo, resistant to change,” said Dr. Zoltan Kemeny, President and CEO of Global Air Cylinder Wheels. “Companies that are unwilling to innovate will not survive. Those companies that embrace new technologies and embrace innovation will prosper. The use of tires and their negative impact on the environment will inevitably change. Governments are beginning to enforce changes in tire disposal and this is already accelerating our adaptation of the technology to the market. We provide revolutionary multi-vertical technology with high potential. For end users, it solves a real problem. For investors, it gives them a unique opportunity to invest in an old market.”
Notable features and benefits of ASW include:
- The structure of the mechanical wheel can be adjusted according to the payload, speed, side load, size, weight and other requirements.
- No overheating.
- Safer – can’t explode.
- Less waste. Only the part that wears out is replaced.
- More durable materials.
- Tire wear creates horrible fine dust, while ASW treads can be made from biodegradable materials.
- Fuel economy. Lower rolling resistance results in less fuel, which reduces toxic gas emissions or extends battery range for EVs.
- Lifetime wheel – lasts approximately 10-15 years.
- Fracture energy is stored in the cylinders and returned to kinetic energy.
- 100% recyclable.
ASW technology has a strong patent portfolio with eight issued and 52 pending patents. The company has received multiple initial purchase orders and expects to be fully commercialized within two years with rapid adoption in mining fleets.
Mining is an industry that uses and discards rubber tires at an alarming rate. Rubber tires are expensive and represent the biggest expense of the mining industry along with fuel and wages. Rapid wear and tear caused by impacts, rock shears and extreme and uneven loading means that the life of expensive mining rubber is short.
With more than 35,000 open-pit mines worldwide, the number of environmentally damaging tires discarded each year is staggering. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health estimates that tires make up to 10% of the total microplastic waste in the world’s oceans. A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature raises that number to 28%.
ASW is durable and designed to have the same lifespan as the vehicle itself (approximately 10-15 years), meaning less replacement costs and less time spent replacing damaged tires. ASW can become part of the vehicle and has the potential to become a capital asset. Unlike rubber tires, ASW can be leased, with a 15% residual value after 10 years of service. They can also be repaired and re-hired.
“We plan to have a commercially ready product for the mining market in the first quarter of 2023, where the need is most urgent,” Kemeny said. “This is followed by road traffic applications such as cars, buses and trucks. We are also looking to start developing other verticals next year.”
He added that other verticals could include construction, bicycles, aircraft, military and any other wheeled vehicle.
Encouraged by the results of its previous $3.3 million campaign, the company has relaunched its StartEngine campaign — https://www.startengine.com/gacw — to further develop its ASW technology. The three-month StartEngine campaign, which ends in October, is already off to a flying start, raising $238,000 in its first month. In total, the company has raised more than $5 million from investors so far, and the company’s valuation has increased from $27 million to $40 million as of May 2022.
“Large purchase orders are expected to create our revenue streams,” Kemeny said.
He added that the GACW orders would be for trucks and loader wheels. Loaders have four wheels and trucks have six, generating revenues of $600,000 per loader and an average of $900,000 per truck, respectively. Since a typical mine has 60 vehicles requiring 480 tires at $150,000 per wheel, initial fleet orders can reach over $72 million for a single mine.
Other forms of expected revenue for the company include:
● recurring revenue from tread replacement
● license and copyright agreements
● other applications such as cars, buses, trucks, military, bicycles, wheelchairs and many more
GACW will also launch upcoming operational tests with a drum crusher for three months starting this month at an open pit mine in Chile and with a CAT 994 front loader for three months starting in October 2022 at an open pit mine in Australia’s Pilbara ■ area .
“At this point, our plan is to expand our distribution network and really start taking the OTR industry by storm,” Kemeny said. “The focus of GACW is meeting demand from miners looking for viable tire solutions and this is a significant market for us. However, ASW technology can be applied to all verticals where traditional rubber tires are used, and this market is huge. Our wheels are gaining the traction we need to push us into the mainstream.”
He added that the global OTR tire market is expected to reach $30 billion in 2022. The total global tire market is expected to reach $322 billion by 2022 with a projected CAGR of 8.4%.
GACW has also established an experienced board of directors and formed a first-class advisory board.
GACW’s wheel technology has been field-tested and the company has been developing ASW for OTR mining vehicles since 2016. The company’s ASW was trialled at a gold mine in South Africa in 2016, and just before Covid-19 hit, the latest version of the wheels was successfully trialled in 2019 and 2020 at a gold mine in the US
“In addition to these serious environmental and budgetary concerns, off-road mining tires pose a huge safety concern for maintenance crews due to potential explosions from overheating, improper inflation or installation, and lightning strikes. Mining companies are forced to use “sticky” solutions such as patching, tire pressure monitoring, tire retreading, tire cooling systems, and tire rotation to extend the useful life of the tire. A 13,000-pound OTR mining tire can to cost over $75,000 and only last six to nine months. That’s a big expense for a product that doesn’t last,” Kemeny explained.
While working in Germany with a major car manufacturer, Kemeny was inspired to create a new kind of wheel. Through his work, he realized that the physics behind the traditional rubber tire was far from ideal. He wrote down his first idea for ASW on a napkin in June 2011. After several years of “testing in the kitchen” and acquiring the first patent, the mining vehicle prototype was created in 2016.
His company has teamed up with suspension, steelmaking, cylinder and tread experts and has more than 200 years of combined engineering experience.
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