(19)
(11)EP 2 927 027 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
16.01.2019 Bulletin 2019/03

(21)Application number: 15160403.0

(22)Date of filing:  23.03.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B60C 19/12  (2006.01)
B60C 9/02  (2006.01)
B60C 5/14  (2006.01)

(54)

PNEUMATIC TIRE

LUFTREIFEN

PNEUMATIQUE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 25.03.2014 JP 2014062420

(43)Date of publication of application:
07.10.2015 Bulletin 2015/41

(60)Divisional application:
18180328.9 / 3406464

(73)Proprietor: SUMITOMO RUBBER INDUSTRIES LIMITED
Kobe-shi, Hyogo-ken (JP)

(72)Inventor:
  • Yukawa, Naoki
    Kobe-shi, Hyogo-ken (JP)

(74)Representative: Manitz Finsterwald Patentanwälte PartmbB 
Martin-Greif-Strasse 1
80336 München
80336 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A- 4 120 337
US-A1- 2003 150 544
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


    Field of the Invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to a pneumatic tire that exhibits excellent puncture-sealing capability.

    Description of Background Art



    [0002] Pneumatic tires with puncture-sealing capability have been proposed. In such a pneumatic tire, a viscous sealant is coated in advance on the cavity side of the tire tread section, for example. When a nail or the like punctures the tire and a hole is formed in the tread section, for example, the sealant deforms to fill the puncture, and air leakage from the puncture is thereby suppressed (see, for example, JP 2002-347418A).

    [0003] US 4,120,337 A discloses a pneumatic tire comprising a tread, a pair of sidewalls extending from axial edges of the tread in a radially inward direction, a pair of beads positioned on a radially inner side of the sidewalls and having a pair of bead cores, a carcass extending from the tread through the sidewalls to the bead cores of the beads, a belt layer positioned on a radially outer side of the carcass and on an inner side of the tread and a sealant layer adhered to a radially inner side of the tire in the tread portion.

    [0004] US 2003/150544 A1 describes a method comprising applying a sealant layer in form of a rubber strip to the inner side of a pneumatic tire while the tire base body is rotated and the strip which is applied to the inner side of the tire is shifted over the tire width.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0005] According to one aspect of the present invention, a pneumatic tire includes a tread, a pair of side walls extending from axial edges of the tread in a radially inward direction, respectively, a pair of beads positioned on a radially inner side of the sidewalls and having a pair of bead cores, respectively, a carcass extending from the tread through the sidewalls to the bead cores of the beads, a belt layer positioned on a radially outer side of the carcass
    and on an inner side of the tread, an inner-liner layer including air-impermeable rubber and positioned on a radially inner side of the carcass, and a sealant layer adhered to a radially inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer in a tread section and having a tire width which is greater than a tire width of the belt layer in an axial direction. The inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer to which the sealant layer is adhered has a profile that satisfies L1 < L2 < L3, L1 ≤ 5 mm, L2 ≤ 9.5 mm, and L3 ≤ 11 mm, where L1, L2 and L3 represent heights in a radial direction measured from a base height point to the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer at positions located in an axially inward direction from an axial outer edge of the belt layer by 5%, 10% and 15% of a maximum width of the belt layer in a meridian cross section including a rotation axis of a tire when the tire is mounted on a normal rim and is filled to have a normal inflation pressure with no load applied, and the base height point is a point on an axial-direction line that passes through the intersection where a radial-direction line passing through the axial outer edge of the belt layer intersects the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer, wherein the sealant layer (10) is made of a crosslinked product of a composition that contains butyl rubber, liquid rubber, inorganic additive, crosslinking agent and crosslinking aid.

    [0006] According to a further aspect, the present invention relates to a method for applying a sealant layer onto a base body of a pneumatic tire, comprising the steps of
    holding a tire base body, already vulcanized, in a rotatable position on sealant-layer forming machine,
    fixing a starting end of rubber strip, having a rectangular cross section and preferably a thickness of 0.5 to 3 mm, and a width of 1.5 to 10 mm, which is continuously supplied from applicator or from a nozzle, to an inner-side surface the tire base body,
    while the tire base body is rotated, moving the applicator in tire axial and radial directions so that rubber strip is wound helically until reaching the terminal end of the strip preferably in such a way that the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer to which the sealant layer is adhered has a profile that satisfies L1 < L2 < L3, L1 ≤ 5 mm, L2 ≤ 9.5 mm, and L3 ≤ 11 mm, where L1, L2 and L3 represent heights in a radial direction measured from a base height point to the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer at positions located in an axially inward direction from an axial outer edge of the belt layer by 5%, 10% and 15% of a maximum width of the belt layer in a meridian cross section including a rotation axis of a tire when the tire is mounted on a normal rim and is filled to have a normal inflation pressure with no load applied, and the base height point is a point on an axial-direction line that passes through the intersection where a radial-direction line passing through the axial outer edge of the belt layer intersects the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer, and
    crosslinking the rubber strip by heating during or after the rubber strip is wound to
    the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0007] A more complete appreciation of the invention and many of the attendant advantages thereof will be readily obtained as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

    FIG. 1 is a tire meridian cross-sectional view showing a pneumatic tire according to an embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the tire seen in FIG. 1, showing a portion that makes contact with the ground; and

    FIG. 3 is a side view schematically illustrating a machine for manufacturing a sealant layer.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS



    [0008] The embodiments will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate corresponding or identical elements throughout the various drawings.

    [0009] In the following, an embodiment of the present invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

    [0010] FIG. 1 is a tire meridian cross-sectional view including the tire rotation axis, showing tire 1 of the present embodiment under normal conditions. As shown in FIG. 1, pneumatic tire 1 of the present embodiment (hereinafter may also be referred to as simply a tire) is preferably mounted on a passenger car, for example.

    [0011] Normal conditions of a tire indicate that tire 1 is mounted on a normal rim (not shown), is filled with air to have a normal inflation pressure, and no load is applied thereon. In the present application, dimensions or the like in each section of tire 1 are those measured under normal conditions unless otherwise specified.

    [0012] The normal rim above indicates a rim regulated by a regulatory system that includes standards for the tire: it is specified as a "Normal Rim" by JATMA; as a "Design Rim" by TRA; and as a "Measuring Rim" by ETRTO. Normal inflation pressure indicates air pressure regulated by a regulatory system that includes standards for the tire. For example, it is specified as "Maximum Air Pressure" by JATMA, maximum value described in a table "Tire Load Limits at Various Cold Inflation Pressures" by TRA, and "Inflation Pressure" by ETRTO. For a passenger tire, the inflation pressure is 180 kPa.

    [0013] Tire 1 has tread section 2, a pair of sidewalls 3 each extending from a tire axial edge of the tread section in a tire radially inward direction, and bead section 4 each provided on the tire radially inner side of sidewall 3 and having bead core 5 embedded therein. Tread section 2 has grooves (G) for water drainage.

    [0014] Tire 1 of the present embodiment further includes carcass 6, belt layer 7, band layer 8, inner-liner layer 9 and sealant layer 10.

    [0015] Carcass 6 is formed with one or more carcass plies; in the present embodiment, there are carcass plies (6A, 6B) positioned on the tire radially inner and outer sides respectively. Carcass plies (6A, 6B) are each provided with main body (6a) and turn-up portion (6b). Main body (6a) extends from tread section 2 through sidewall 3 to reach bead core 5 of bead section 4. Turn-up portion (6b) is continued from main body (6a) and is turned up around bead core 5 from the tire axially inner side toward the outer side.

    [0016] Carcass plies (6A, 6B) are each a cord ply obtained by covering carcass cords with a topping rubber. Carcass cords are arranged to incline at 70∼90 degrees, for example, to tire equator (C). Carcass cords are preferred to be made of organic fibers selected from, for example, aramid, polyethylene naphthalate (PEN), nylon, rayon or the like.

    [0017] Between main body (6a) and turn-up portion (6b) of carcass ply (6B), bead apex rubber 11 made of a hard rubber is positioned to extend from bead core 5 in the radially outward direction of the tire.

    [0018] Belt layer 7 is made up of at least one layer of belt ply formed by arranging belt cords inclined at 5∼45 degrees to tire equator (C); in the present embodiment, there are two belt plies (7A, 7B) positioned respectively on the radially inner and outer sides of the tire. Belt plies (7A, 7B) are laminated in such a direction that their cords intersect each other. Steel cords, for example, are preferred to be used as belt cords.

    [0019] Inner and outer belt plies (7A, 7B) of the present embodiment are provided to extend substantially the entire region of tread section 2. In the present embodiment, inner belt ply (7A) has a greater width than outer belt ply (7B). A tire axially outer edge (7e) of inner belt ply (7A) is positioned near tread edge (Te). The maximum width (Wa) of belt layer 7 in a tire axial direction is preferred to be 95∼105% of tread width (TW).

    [0020] Under normal conditions with a normal load applied thereon, a "tread edge" (Te) of a tire is determined to be at a tire axially outermost position that makes contact with a planar surface at a camber angle of zero degrees. Under normal conditions, the distance between tread edges (Te, Te) in a tire axial direction is determined to be tread width (TW).

    [0021] The normal load indicates what is regulated by a regulatory system that includes standards on which tires are based. For example, the normal load is specified as "Maximum Capacity Load" by JATMA, as "maximum value" in the table "Tire Load Limits at Various Cold Inflation Pressures" by TRA, and as "Load Capacity" by ETRTO. For a passenger car tire, the normal load corresponds to 88% of the load specified as above.

    [0022] Band layer 8 is formed with at least one layer of band ply obtained by arranging band cords at an angle of 5 degrees or less with respect to a tire circumferential direction. In the present embodiment, the band ply includes full band plies (8A, 8B) positioned respectively on the inner and outer sides in a tire radial direction and covering substantially the entire width of belt layer 7, and also includes edge band ply (8C) that only covers each outer edge of belt layer 7 in a tire axial direction. Edge band ply (8C) is provided on the tire radially outer side of outer full band ply (8B). Full band plies (8A, 8B) and edge band ply (8C) each end on the axially outer side of belt layer 7.

    [0023] Band cords are preferred to be made of organic fibers selected from, for example, nylon, rayon, aromatic polyamide, PEN or the like.

    [0024] Inner-liner layer 9 is positioned on the tire radially inner side of inner carcass ply (6A). Inner-liner layer 9 of the present embodiment extends continuously between a pair of bead sections (4, 4). Inner-liner layer 9 is made of an air-impermeable rubber material, and prevents leakage of air filled in the tire cavity. Preferred examples of air-impermeable rubber are butyl rubber, halogenated butyl rubber and the like.

    [0025] As shown in FIG. 2, sealant layer 10 is adhered to the tire radially inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9 and extends to form a ring shape in a tire circumferential direction. Sealant layer 10 is made of a viscous rubber to fill a hole when the tire is punctured. Such sealant layer 10 suppresses leakage of air through deformation so as to fill a hole formed in tread section 2 when a nail or the like punctures the tire.

    [0026] The rubber material for sealant layer 10 is a crosslinked product of a composition that contains butyl rubber, liquid rubber, inorganic additive, crosslinking agent, crosslinking aid or the like. When centrifugal force is generated during the tire run, such a sealant layer 10 is suppressed from flowing along the profile of inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9.

    [0027] Liquid rubber is preferred to contain polybutene. Polybutene is a viscous liquid polymer obtained through cationic polymerization of isobutane and normal butane, and exhibits excellent adhesiveness. The adhesiveness and viscosity of polybutene are less likely to deteriorate by the passage of time or by heat or pressure. Thus, polybutene seldom solidifies or dries up. As a result, by mixing polybutene in the rubber material of sealant layer 10, adhesiveness and sealant capability are further improved.

    [0028] As for inorganic additives, they are preferred to contain at least one of carbon black, silica, calcium carbonate, calcium silicate, magnesium oxide, aluminum oxide, barium sulfate, talc and mica.

    [0029] To enhance heat resistance, organic peroxide is preferred as a crosslinking agent.

    [0030] Based on 100 parts by mass of butyl rubber, sealant layer 10 is preferred to contain 100∼400 parts by mass of liquid rubber, 1∼15 parts by mass of inorganic additive, 1∼10 parts by mass of a crosslinking agent and 1∼10 parts by mass of a crosslinking aid.

    [0031] In the present embodiment, both outer edges (10e) of sealant layer 10 are positioned on the tire axially outer side of tire axially outer edge (7e) of belt layer 7. Accordingly, the above-described effects are achieved on the entire width of belt layer 7. More preferably, both outer edges (10e) of sealant layer 10 are positioned at 3∼20 mm on the tire axially outer side of outer edge (7e) of belt layer 7 so as to suppress an increase in the mass of tire 1.

    [0032] To suppress an increase in the mass of tire 1 while exhibiting excellent puncture-sealing capability, thickness (t1) of sealant layer 10 is preferred to be 1∼10 mm, more preferably 1.5∼5.0 mm.

    [0033] In the present embodiment, the profile of inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9 where sealant layer 10 is adhered satisfies the following formulas.



    [0034] Here, in a meridian cross section including the rotation axis of a tire under normal conditions, L1, L2 and L3 are heights in a tire radial direction measured from base height point (H) to the inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9 at positions (P1)∼(P3) which are located in an axially inward direction from tire axial outer edge (7e) of belt layer 7 by 5%, 10% and 15% respectively of the maximum width of the belt layer. Base height point (H) is on a tire axial-direction line that passes through intersection (K) where a tire radial-direction line (7c) passing through tire axial outer edge (7e) of belt layer 7 intersects with inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9.

    [0035] Centrifugal force generated during the tire run has a component which is parallel to inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9 and which is in a tire axially inward direction. Thus, the profile of inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9 where sealant layer 10 is adhered is specified so that the inclination of inner-side surface (9a) is smaller than that in a conventional tire and that the inclination is similar to a tire axial direction in a tire meridian cross section. As a result, the component above is reduced and sealant layer 10 is suppressed from flowing in an axially inward direction of the tire. Accordingly, pneumatic tire 1 of the present embodiment is capable of maintaining sealant layer 10 even on the tire axially outer side of belt layer 7, and thus exhibits excellent puncture-sealing capability.

    [0036] In addition, because inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9 is formed to have a relationship of L1 < L2 < L3, the profile of carcass 6 and outer surface (2a) of tread section 2, which is almost the same as that of inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9, is also formed to be in an arc shape protruding slightly in a radially outward direction of the tire. Therefore, the pneumatic tire 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention is capable of preventing loss of steering control or the like on rough road surfaces.

    [0037] In inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9 of the present embodiment, the portion from base height position (H) to inner-side surface (9a) at point (P3) is smoothly extended. Accordingly, the profile is an arc shape protruding slightly toward a radially outward direction of the tire.

    [0038] In a more preferred embodiment, inner-side surface (9a) of inner-liner layer 9 satisfies the following formulas.



    [0039] By so setting, the profile of carcass 6 and outer surface (2a) of tread section 2 is formed to have an arc shape protruding slightly in the radial outer direction of the tire, and thereby prevents loss of steering control or the like on rough road surfaces.

    [0040] Next, a method for manufacturing sealant layer 10 is described. FIG. 3 is a side view to provide a brief description of sealant-layer forming machine 16 to manufacture sealant layer 10. As shown in FIG. 3, sealant layer 10 of the present embodiment is manufactured by a so-called strip winding method for winding long rubber strip 15 on tire base body (T).

    [0041] Rubber strip 15 is not crosslinked yet and has a rectangular cross section, for example, having a greater width relative to its thickness (not shown). The thickness and width of rubber strip 15 are determined to have conventional dimensions. In the present embodiment, the thickness of rubber strip 15 is preferred to be set at approximately 0.5∼3 mm, and its width at approximately 1.5∼10 mm.

    [0042] Tire base body (T) is that of tire 1 shown in FIG. 1 but before sealant layer 10 is adhered. Thus, tire base body (T) has been vulcanized.

    [0043] As shown in FIG. 3, sealant-layer forming machine 16 of the present embodiment has, for example, a holding jig 17 to hold tire base body (T), and applicator 18 to supply rubber strip 15 on inner-side surface (9a) of the inner-liner layer 9 of tire base body (T).

    [0044] Holding jig 17 includes a pair of support rollers (19, 19) to support tire base body (T) in an upright position by making contact with outer surface (2a) of tread section 2 of tire base body (T), and multiple, four in the present embodiment, holding rollers 20 to support tire base body (T) in a rotatable position by extending over sidewalls on both sides. A power transmission device (not shown) is connected to one of support rollers 19 to rotate support rollers 19. Tire base body (T) rotates when support rollers 19 rotate.

    [0045] Applicator 18 includes conveyor-type transfer device 21 to transfer rubber strip 15, and roller-type laminator device 22, for example, to laminate rubber strip 15 to inner-side surface (9a) of tire base body (T). Transfer device 21 and laminator device 22 are supported by, for example, a 3D moving device (not shown) capable of making a round trip in the axial and radial directions with respect to tire base body (T).

    [0046] On the upstream side of applicator 18, a twin-screw continuous kneader, for example, is provided (not shown). Such a twin-screw continuous kneader continuously kneads the rubber materials for making sealant layer 10, and continuously extrudes rubber strip 15 from the discharge port to applicator 18.

    [0047] To manufacture sealant layer 10, first, tire base body (T) is held in a rotatable position on sealant-layer forming machine 16. Next, a starting end of rubber strip 15, which is continuously supplied from applicator 18, is fixed to inner-side surface (9a) of tire base body (T). Then, while tire base body (T) is rotated, applicator 18 is moved in tire axial and radial directions so that rubber strip 15 is wound helically until reaching the terminal end of the strip (not shown).

    [0048] A method for forming sealant layer 10 is not limited to the above. Sealant layer 10 may also be formed by the following method, for example: a nozzle is connected to the discharge port of a twin-screw continuous kneader, the nozzle is provided near the inner-side surface (9a) of tire base body (T), and rubber strip 15 is directly supplied from the twin-screw kneader to inner-side surface (9a) of tire base body (T) held to be rotatable by a holding jig 17 so that rubber strip 15 is laminated on the tire base body.

    [0049] Next, sealant layer 10 made of rubber strip 15 is heated to crosslink the rubber. A method for applying heat is preferred to be, for example, putting tire base body (T) in an oven, applying hot air from a heated air blower, and irradiating infrared heat lamp rays on sealant layer 10, or the like.

    [0050] In addition, to crosslink rubber strip 15, the heat of rubber strip 15 itself may also be used. Namely, the temperature of rubber strip 15 to be discharged from a twin-screw continuous kneader is maintained at 80∼130°C so that the rubber strip is gradually crosslinked after it is adhered to the tire base body.

    [0051] To further accelerate crosslinking of rubber strip 15, it is also preferred to heat tire base body (T) to 40∼70°C at the time of the winding process of rubber strip 15.

    [0052] So far, a pneumatic tire according to an embodiment of the present invention has been described in detail. However, the present invention is not limited to the embodiments above, and various modifications are possible. For example, to absorb and reduce resonance energy (vibration energy) generated in the cavity of tire 1, a foamed body (not shown) may be laminated on the tire radially inner side surface (10a) of sealant layer 10 (shown in FIG. 2) so as to suppress cavity resonance sounds. A preferred example of a formed body is an ether-based polyurethane sponge with a relative density of 0.005∼0.06.

    EXAMPLES



    [0053] Pneumatic test tires in a size of 235/45R17 are each manufactured to have a basic structure shown in FIG. 1 and specifications shown in Table 1. The flow distance of the sealant layer and the degree of loss of steering control on rough road surfaces are checked in each test tire. The common specifications of each test tire and methods for testing are as follows. The composition for making sealant layers is shown in Table 2.
    outer edge (10e) of sealant layer: at the outer edge of belt layer + 5 mm outward in a tire axial direction
    thickness (t) of sealant layer: 3 mm
    manufacturing method of sealant layer: lamination of rubber strip using a twin-screw continuous kneader

    Flow Distance of Sealant Layer



    [0054] Each test tire was rotated on a high-speed drum test machine with a drum diameter of 1.7 m under the following conditions. Before and after the running test, outer edge positions of a sealant layer in tire axial directions were checked at eight spots on the tire circumference by using an X-ray CT scanning device. The results are shown as the average value of the differences before and after the running test. The smaller the value is, the better is the result.
    rim: 17×8J
    inflation pressure: 220 kPa
    load: 5 kN
    speed: 120 km/h
    running duration: 3 hours

    Steering Stability on Rough Road



    [0055] Test tires were mounted on all the wheels of a passenger car having a 2000 cc displacement under the conditions below. A test driver ran the car on a roughened dry asphalt road surface and conducted a sensory evaluation of steering stability (degree of steering wheel torque). The results are shown as indices based on the result obtained in Example 1 being set at 100. The greater the value is, the more excellent is the control.
    rim: 17×8J
    inflation pressure: 220 kPa

    [0056] The test results are shown in Table 1.
    Table 1
     comp. example 1example 1example 2example 3example 4example 5comp. example 2
    height (L1) in tire radial direction (mm) 6 5 4 2.5 1 0.5 0
    height (L2) in tire radial direction (mm) 11 9.5 7.5 4.5 1.5 1 0
    height (L3) in tire radial direction (mm) 13 11 9 6 2 1.5 0
    flow distance of sealant layer (mm) 10 2.5 1 0 0 0 0
    steering stability [index, greater the better] 100 100 100 100 98 95 85
    Table 2
     parts by mass
    butyl rubber 100
    polybutene (HV-1900) 200
    carbon black (N330) 15
    oil (DOS) 15
    crosslinking agent (QDO) 7
    crosslinking aid (QO) 7


    [0057] As test results show above, it was confirmed that the tires of the examples exhibited a well-balanced improvement to the flow distance of a sealant layer and steering stability compared with tires of comparative examples. Thus, a tire according to an embodiment of the present invention exhibits excellent puncture-sealing capability while maintaining steering stability on rough road surfaces.

    [0058] Although a sealant has a certain level of viscosity, the viscosity is lowered by the heat generated while a tire is running. In addition, due to the centrifugal force caused by the rotation of a tire, the sealant tends to flow toward the tire equatorial plane along the profile on the inner cavity surface of the tread section. Such movement of the sealant is likely to result in an insufficient amount of sealant on the edge sides of the tread section. Accordingly, if a puncture occurs near an edge, it is feared that the puncture may not be fully filled.

    [0059] A pneumatic tire according to an embodiment of the present invention improves the profile of the inner side of the tread section where a sealant is adhered and provides excellent puncture-sealing capability.

    [0060] A pneumatic tire according to one aspect of the present invention is formed with a carcass extending from the tread section through a sidewall to reach the bead core of each bead section; a belt layer positioned on the tire radially outer side of the carcass and on the inner side of the tread section; an inner-liner layer made of air-impermeable rubber and positioned on the tire radially inner side of the carcass; and a sealant layer adhered to the tire radially inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer in the tread section and having a greater width in a tire axial direction than that of the belt layer. In the tread section of such a pneumatic tire, the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer where the sealant layer is adhered has a profile that satisfies the formulas below.



    [0061] In a meridian cross section including the rotation axis of a tire under normal conditions, that is, when the tire is mounted on a normal rim and is filled to have a normal inflation pressure with no load applied, L1, L2 and L3 are heights in a tire radial direction measured from the base height point to the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer at positions located in a tire axially inward direction from a tire axial outer edge of the belt layer by 5%, 10% and 15% respectively of the maximum width of the belt layer. The base height point is on a tire axial-direction line that passes through the intersection where a tire radial-direction line passing through the tire axial direction outer edge of the belt layer intersects the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer.

    [0062] In a pneumatic tire according to an embodiment of the present invention, the profile of the inner-liner layer is preferred to satisfy the formulas below.



    [0063] In a pneumatic tire according to an embodiment of the present invention, each of the outer edges of the sealant layer is preferred to be positioned on the outer side of the tire axial outer edge of the belt layer in a tire axial direction.

    [0064] A pneumatic tire according to an embodiment of the present invention has a sealant layer on the radially inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer in the tread section.

    [0065] The inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer where the sealant layer is adhered has a profile that satisfies the formulas below.



    [0066] Here, in a meridian cross section including the rotation axis of a tire under normal conditions, that is, when the tire is mounted on a normal rim and is filled to have a normal inflation pressure with no load applied, L1, L2 and L3 are heights in a tire radial direction measured from the base height point to the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer at positions located in a tire axially inward direction from a tire axial outer edge of the belt layer by 5%, 10% and 15% respectively of the maximum width of the belt layer. The base height point is on a tire axial-direction line that passes through the intersection where a tire radial-direction line passing through the tire axial outer edge of the belt layer intersects the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer.

    [0067] By so specifying the profile of the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer where the sealant layer is adhered, the inclination of the inner-side surface on a tire meridian cross section is smaller than that of a conventional tire, and is similar to a tire axial direction. When centrifugal force is generated during the tire run, such a profile reduces a component of the force that is parallel to the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer and in a tire axially inward direction. Accordingly, the sealant layer is suppressed from flowing in an axially inward direction of the tire. As a result, a pneumatic tire according to an embodiment of the present invention is capable of sufficiently maintaining the sealant layer on the tire axially outer side of the belt layer, and thereby exhibits excellent puncture-sealing capability.

    [0068] In addition, because the inner-side surface is formed to have a relationship of L1 < L2 < L3, the outer-side profile of the carcass and tread section, which is almost the same as the inner-side profile of the inner-liner layer, is also formed in an arc shape protruding slightly in a radially outward direction of the tire. Therefore, a pneumatic tire according to an embodiment of the present invention is capable of preventing loss of steering control on rough road surfaces.

    [0069] Obviously, numerous modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein.


    Claims

    1. A pneumatic tire (1), comprising:

    a tread (2);

    a pair of side walls (3) extending from axial edges (Te) of the tread (2) in a radially inward direction, respectively;

    a pair of beads (4) positioned on a radially inner side of the sidewalls (3) and having a pair of bead cores (5), respectively;

    a carcass (6) extending from the tread (2) through the sidewalls (3) to the bead cores (5) of the beads (4);

    a belt layer (7) positioned on a radially outer side of the carcass (6) and on an inner side of the tread (2);

    an inner-liner layer (9) comprising air-impermeable rubber and positioned on a radially inner side of the carcass (6); and

    a sealant layer (10) adhered to a radially inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer (9) in a tread section (2) and having a tire width which is greater than a tire width (Wa) of the belt layer (7) in an axial direction, characterized in that

    the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer (9) to which the sealant layer (10) is adhered has a profile that satisfies L1 < L2 < L3, L1 ≤ 5 mm, L2 ≤ 9.5 mm, and L3 ≤ 11 mm, where L1, L2 and L3 represent heights in a radial direction measured from a base height point to the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer (9) at positions located in an axially inward direction from an axial outer edge (7e) of the belt layer (7) by 5%, 10% and 15% of a maximum width (Wa) of the belt layer (7) in a meridian cross section including a rotation axis of a tire (1) when the tire (1) is mounted on a normal rim and is filled to have a normal inflation pressure with no load applied, and the base height point is a point on an axial-direction line that passes through the intersection where a radial-direction line passing through the axial outer edge (7e) of the belt layer (7) intersects the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer (9), and

    in that the sealant layer (10) is made of a crosslinked product of a composition that contains butyl rubber, liquid rubber, inorganic additive, crosslinking agent and crosslinking aid.


     
    2. The pneumatic tire (1) according to Claim 1, wherein the profile of the inner-liner layer (9) satisfies L1 ≥ 1 mm, L2 ≥ 1.5 mm, and L3 ≥ 2 mm.
     
    3. The pneumatic tire (1) according to Claim 1 or Claim 2, wherein each of outer edges of the sealant layer (10) is positioned on an outer side of the axial outer edge (7e) of the belt layer (7) in the axial direction.
     
    4. The pneumatic tire (1) according to Claim 3, wherein both outer edges of the sealant layer (10) are positioned at 3 to 20 mm on the tire axially outer side of the outer edge (7e) of the belt layer (7) in the axial direction.
     
    5. The pneumatic tire (1) according to any of the preceding Claims, wherein the thickness of the sealant layer (10) is preferably 1 to 10 mm, more preferably 1.5 to 5.0 mm.
     
    6. The pneumatic tire (1) according to any of the preceding Claims, wherein the liquid rubber contains polybutene.
     
    7. The pneumatic tire (1) according to any of the preceding Claimas, wherein the inorganic additives contain at least one of carbon black, silica, calcium carbonate, calcium silicate, magnesium oxide, aluminum oxide, barium sulfate, talc and mica.
     
    8. The pneumatic tire (1) according to any of the preceding Claims, wherein the crosslinking agent is organic peroxide.
     
    9. The pneumatic tire (1) according to any of the preceding Claims, wherein based on 100 parts by mass of butyl rubber, the sealant layer (10) contains 100 to 400 parts by mass of liquid rubber, 1 to 15 parts by mass of inorganic additive, 1 to 10 parts by mass of a crosslinking agent and 1 to 10 parts by mass of a crosslinking aid.
     
    10. The pneumatic tire (1) according to any of the preceding Claims, wherein the outer-side profile of the carcass (6) and tread section (2) is almost the same as that of the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer (9), which is formed to be in an arc shape protruding slightly in a radially outward direction of the tire (1).
     
    11. Method for applying a sealant layer (10) onto a base body of a pneumatic tire, comprising the steps of
    holding a tire base body, already vulcanized, in a rotatable position on sealant-layer forming machine,
    fixing a starting end of rubber strip, having a rectangular cross section and preferably a thickness of 0.5 to 3 mm, and a width of 1.5 to 10 mm, which is continuously supplied from applicator or from a nozzle, to an inner-side surface the tire base body,
    while the tire base body is rotated, moving the applicator in tire axial and radial directions so that rubber strip is wound helically until reaching the terminal end of the strip in such a way that the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer (9) to which the sealant layer (10) is adhered has a profile that satisfies L1 < L2 < L3, L1 ≤ 5 mm, L2 ≤ 9.5 mm, and L3 ≤ 11 mm, where L1, L2 and L3 represent heights in a radial direction measured from a base height point to the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer (9) at positions located in an axially inward direction from an axial outer edge (7e) of the belt layer (7) by 5%, 10% and 15% of a maximum width (Wa) of the belt layer (7) in a meridian cross section including a rotation axis of a tire (1) when the tire (1) is mounted on a normal rim and is filled to have a normal inflation pressure with no load applied, and the base height point is a point on an axial-direction line that passes through the intersection where a radial-direction line passing through the axial outer edge (7e) of the belt layer (7) intersects the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer (9), and
    crosslinking the rubber strip by heating during or after the rubber strip is wound to the inner-side surface of the inner-liner layer (9).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Luftreifen (1), umfassend:

    eine Lauffläche (2);

    ein Paar Seitenwände (3), die sich von axialen Kanten (Te) der Lauffläche (2) jeweils in einer Richtung radial nach innen erstrecken;

    ein Paar Wülste (4), die an einer radial inneren Seite der Seitenwände (3) angeordnet sind und jeweils ein Paar Wulstkerne (5) aufweisen;

    eine Karkasse (6), die sich von der Lauffläche (2) durch die Seitenwände (3) zu den Wulstkernen (5) der Wülste (4) erstreckt;

    eine Gürtelschicht (7), die an einer radial äußeren Seite der Karkasse (6) und an einer inneren Seite der Lauffläche (2) angeordnet ist;

    eine Innerlinerschicht (9), die aus luftundurchlässigem Kautschuk besteht und an einer radial inneren Seite der Karkasse (6) angeordnet ist; und

    eine Abdichtungsschicht (10), die an eine radial innenseitige Oberfläche der Innerlinerschicht (9) in einem Laufflächenabschnitt (2) geklebt ist und eine Reifenbreite aufweist, die größer ist als eine Reifenbreite (Wa) der Gürtelschicht (7) in axialer Richtung, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die innenseitige Oberfläche der Innerlinerschicht (9), an die die Abdichtungsschicht (10) geklebt ist, ein Profil aufweist, das L1 < L2 < L3, L1 ≤ 5 mm, L2 ≤ 9,5 mm und L3 ≤ 11 mm erfüllt, wobei L1, L2 und L3 Höhen in einer radialen Richtung darstellen, gemessen von einem Basishöhenpunkt zur innenseitigen Oberfläche der Innerlinerschicht (9) an Positionen, die axial nach innen von einer axialen Außenkante (7e) der Gürtelschicht (7) aus mit 5%, 10% und 15% einer maximalen Breite (Wa) der Gürtelschicht (7) in einem Meridianquerschnitt, der eine Drehachse eines Reifens (1) einschließt, gelegen sind, wenn der Reifen (1) auf eine normale Felge aufgezogen und so gefüllt ist, dass er einen normalen Aufblasdruck aufweist, ohne dass eine Belastung aufgebracht ist, und der Basishöhenpunkt ein Punkt auf einer Linie in axialer Richtung ist, die durch den Schnittpunkt verläuft, wo eine Linie in radialer Richtung, die durch die axiale Außenkante (7e) der Gürtelschicht (7) verläuft, die innenseitigen Oberfläche der Innerlinerschicht (9) schneidet, und

    dass die Abdichtungsschicht (10) aus einem vernetzten Produkt einer Zusammensetzung hergestellt ist, die Butylkautschuk, Flüssigkautschuk, anorganisches Additiv, Vernetzungsmittel und Vernetzungshilfsmittel enthält.


     
    2. Luftreifen (1) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Profil der Innerlinerschicht (9) L1 ≥ 1 mm, L2 ≥ 1,5 mm und L3 ≥ 2 mm erfüllt.
     
    3. Luftreifen (1) nach Anspruch 1 oder Anspruch 2, wobei jede der Außenkanten der Abdichtungsschicht (10) auf einer Außenseite der axialen Außenkante (7e) der Gürtelschicht (7) in der axialen Richtung angeordnet ist.
     
    4. Luftreifen (1) nach Anspruch 3, wobei beide Außenkanten der Abdichtungsschicht (10) mit 3 bis 20 mm an der axial äußeren Seite der Außenkante (7e) der Gürtelschicht (7) in der axialen Richtung angeordnet sind.
     
    5. Luftreifen (1) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Dicke der Abdichtungsschicht (10) bevorzugt 1 bis 10 mm, stärker bevorzugt 1,5 bis 5,0 mm beträgt.
     
    6. Luftreifen (1) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Flüssigkautschuk Polybuten enthält.
     
    7. Luftreifen (1) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die anorganischen Additive mindestens eines von Ruß, Siliciumdioxid, Calciumcarbonat, Calciumsilicat, Magnesiumoxid, Aluminiumoxid, Bariumsulfat, Talk und Glimmer enthalten.
     
    8. Luftreifen (1) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Vernetzungsmittel organisches Peroxid ist.
     
    9. Luftreifen (1) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei, bezogen auf 100 Massenteile Butylkautschuk, die Abdichtungsschicht (10) 100 bis 400 Massenteile Flüssigkautschuk, 1 bis 15 Massenteile anorganisches Additiv, 1 bis 10 Massenteile Vernetzungsmittel und 1 bis 10 Massenteile eines Vernetzungshilfsmittels enthält.
     
    10. Luftreifen (1) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das außenseitige Profil der Karkasse (6) und des Laufflächenabschnitts (2) nahezu das gleiche ist wie das der innenseitigen Oberfläche der Innerlinerschicht (9), welches so ausgebildet ist, dass es in einer Bogenform vorliegt, die geringfügig von dem Reifen (1) radial nach außen vorsteht.
     
    11. Verfahren zum Aufbringen einer Abdichtungsschicht (10) auf einen Grundkörper eines Luftreifens, umfassend die Schritte

    Halten eines bereits vulkanisierten Reifengrundkörpers in einer drehbaren Position an der Abdichtungsschichtformmaschine,

    Befestigen eines Anfangsendes eines Kautschukstreifens mit einem rechteckigen Querschnitt und bevorzugt einer Dicke von 0,5 bis 3 mm und einer Breite von 1,5 bis 10 mm, der kontinuierlich vom Applikator oder von einer Düse einer innenseitigen Oberfläche des Reifengrundkörpers zugeführt wird,

    während der Reifengrundkörper gedreht wird, Bewegen des Applikators in axialer und radialer Richtung des Reifens, so dass der Kautschukstreifen spiralförmig gewickelt wird, bis er das Abschlussende des Streifens erreicht, derart, dass die innenseitige Oberfläche der Innerlinerschicht (9), an die Abdichtungsschicht (10) geklebt wird, ein Profil aufweist, das L1 < L2 < L3, L1 ≤ 5 mm, L2 ≤ 9,5 mm und L3 ≤ 11 mm erfüllt, wobei L1, L2 und L3 Höhen in einer radialen Richtung darstellen, gemessen von einem Basishöhenpunkt zur innenseitigen Oberfläche der Innerlinerschicht (9) an Positionen, die in einer Richtung axial nach innen von einer axialen Außenkante (7e) der Gürtelschicht (7) aus um 5%, 10% und 15% einer maximalen Breite (Wa) der Gürtelschicht (7) in einem Meridianquerschnitt, der eine Drehachse eines Reifens (1) einschließt, gelegen sind, wenn der Reifen (1) auf eine normale Felge aufgezogen und so gefüllt ist, dass er einen normalen Aufblasdruck aufweist, ohne das eine Belastung aufgebracht ist, und der Basishöhenpunkt ein Punkt auf einer Linie in axialer Richtung ist, die durch den Schnittpunkt verläuft, wo eine Linie in radialer Richtung, die durch die axiale Außenkante (7e) der Gürtelschicht (7) verläuft, die innenseitige Oberfläche der Innerlinerschicht (9) schneidet, und

    Vernetzen des Kautschukstreifens durch Erwärmen während oder nach dem Aufwickeln des Kautschukstreifens auf die innenseitige Oberfläche der Innerlinerschicht (9).


     


    Revendications

    1. Bandage pneumatique (1), comprenant :

    une bande de roulement (2) ;

    une paire de parois latérales (3) s'étendant depuis des bordures axiales (Te) de la bande de roulement (2) dans une direction radialement vers l'intérieur, respectivement ;

    une paire de talons (4) positionnés sur un côté radialement intérieur des parois latérales (3) et ayant une paire d'âmes de talons (5), respectivement ;

    une carcasse (6) qui s'étend depuis la bande de roulement (2) en traversant les parois latérales (3) jusqu'aux âmes de talons (5) des talons (4) ;

    une couche de ceinture (7) positionnée sur un côté radialement extérieur de la carcasse (6) et sur un côté intérieur de la bande de roulement (2) ;

    une couche de doublage intérieure (9) comprenant un caoutchouc imperméable à l'air et positionnée sur un côté radialement intérieur de la carcasse (6) ; et

    une couche de produit d'étanchement (10) adhérée sur une surface du côté radialement intérieur de la couche de doublage intérieure (9) dans une section de la bande de roulement (2) et ayant une largeur qui est supérieure à une largeur (Wa) de la couche de ceinture (7) dans une direction axiale,

    caractérisé en ce que

    la surface du côté intérieur de la couche de doublage intérieure (9) sur laquelle la couche de produit d'étanchement (10) est adhérée a un profil qui satisfait les conditions L1 < L2 < L3, L1 ≤ 5 mm, L2 ≤ 9,5 mm, et L3 ≤ 11 mm, dans lesquelles L1, L2 et L3 représentent les hauteurs dans une direction radiale mesurée depuis un point à la hauteur de base jusqu'à la surface du côté intérieur de la couche de doublage intérieur (9) à des positions situées dans une direction axialement vers l'intérieur depuis une bordure axialement extérieure (7e) de la couche de ceinture (7) à 5 %, 10 % et 15 % d'une largeur maximum (Wa) de la couche de ceinture (7) dans une section transversale méridienne incluant un axe de rotation du pneumatique (1) quand le pneumatique (1) est monté sur une jante normale et est rempli pour présenter une pression de gonflage normale sans lui appliquer de charge, et le point à la hauteur de base est un point sur une ligne en direction axiale qui passe par l'intersection où une ligne en direction radiale passant à travers la bordure axialement extérieure (7e) de la couche de ceinture (7) recoupe la surface du côté intérieur de la couche de doublage intérieure (9), et

    en ce que la couche de produit d'étanchement (10) est faite d'un produit réticulé d'une composition qui contient du caoutchouc au butyle, du caoutchouc liquide, des additifs inorganiques, un agent de réticulation et un aide de réticulation.


     
    2. Bandage pneumatique (1) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le profil de la couche de doublage intérieur (9) satisfait les conditions L1 ≥ 1 mm, L2 ≥ 1,5 mm, et L3 ≥ 2 mm.
     
    3. Bandage pneumatique (1) selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel chacune des bordures extérieures de la couche de produit d'étanchement (10) est positionnée sur un côté extérieur de la bordure axialement extérieure (7e) de la couche de ceinture (7) dans la direction axiale.
     
    4. Bandage pneumatique (1) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel les deux bordures extérieures de la couche de produit d'étanchement (10) sont positionnées à 3 à 20 mm sur le côté axialement extérieur du pneumatique de la bordure extérieure (7e) de la couche de ceinture (7) dans la direction axiale.
     
    5. Bandage pneumatique (1) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'épaisseur de la couche de produit d'étanchement (10) est de préférence de 1 à 10 mm, de façon plus préférée 1,5 à 5,0 mm.
     
    6. Bandage pneumatique (1) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le caoutchouc liquide contient du polybutène.
     
    7. Bandage pneumatique (1) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les additifs inorganiques contiennent au moins un parmi noir de carbone, silice, carbonate de calcium, silicate de calcium, oxyde de magnésium, oxyde d'aluminium, sulfate de baryum, talc et mica.
     
    8. Bandage pneumatique (1) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'agent de réticulation est du peroxyde organique.
     
    9. Bandage pneumatique (1) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel, en se basant sur 100 parties en masse de caoutchouc au butyle, la couche de produit d'étanchement (10) contient de 100 à 400 parties en masse de caoutchouc liquide, 1 à 15 parties en masse d'additifs inorganiques, 1 à 10 parties en masse d'un agent de réticulation et 1 à 10 parties en masse d'un aide de réticulation.
     
    10. Bandage pneumatique (1) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le profil du côté extérieur de la carcasse (6) et de la section de bande de roulement (2) et pratiquement le même que celui de la surface du côté intérieur de la couche de doublage intérieure (9), qui est formée pour avoir une forme en arc qui se projette légèrement dans une direction radialement vers l'extérieur du pneumatique (1).
     
    11. Procédé pour appliquer une couche de produit d'étanchement (10) sur un corps de base d'un bandage pneumatique, comprenant les étapes consistant à :

    tenir un corps de base de pneumatique, déjà vulcanisé, dans une position en rotation sur une machine de formage de couche de produit d'étanchement,

    fixer une extrémité d'un ruban de caoutchouc, ayant une section transversale rectangulaire et de préférence une épaisseur de 0,5 à 3 mm, et une largeur de 1,5 à 10 mm, qui est fourni en continu depuis un applicateur ou depuis une buse, vers une surface du côté intérieur du corps de base du pneumatique,

    pendant que le corps de base du pneumatique est mis en rotation, déplacer l'applicateur dans la direction axiale et la direction radiale du pneumatique de telle façon que le ruban de caoutchouc est enroulé en hélice jusqu'à atteindre l'extrémité terminale de ruban, d'une manière telle que la surface du côté intérieur de la couche de doublage intérieure (9) sur laquelle la couche de produit d'étanchement (10) est adhérée présente un profil qui satisfait les conditions L1 < L2 < L3, L1 ≤ 5 mm, L2 ≤ 9,5 mm, et L3 ≤ 11 mm, dans lesquelles M1, L2 et L3 représentent les hauteurs, dans une direction radiale, mesurées depuis un point à la hauteur de base jusqu'à la surface du côté intérieur de la couche de doublage intérieur (9) à des positions situées dans une direction axialement vers l'intérieur depuis une bordure axialement extérieure (7e) de la couche de ceinture (7) à 5 %, 10 % et 15 % d'une largeur maximum (Wa) de la couche de ceinture (7) dans une section transversale méridienne incluant un axe de rotation du pneumatique (1) quand le pneumatique (1) est monté sur une jante normale et est rempli pour avoir une pression de gonflage normale sans lui appliquer une charge, et le point à la hauteur de base est un point sur une ligne en direction axiale qui passe par l'intersection où une ligne en direction radiale passant par la bordure axialement extérieure (7e) de la couche de ceinture (7) recoupe la surface du côté intérieur de la couche de doublage intérieur (9), et

    faire réticuler le ruban de caoutchouc par chauffage pendant ou après l'enroulement du ruban de caoutchouc sur la surface du côté intérieur de la couche de doublage intérieure (9).


     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description