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100 years of truck tyres retreading

Published on 1 September 2023 - 3 reading minute(s)

Over the years, Michelin has continued to innovate and contribute to the road transport sector development, helping fleets to improve their performance. With economic concerns, Michelin has set itself the challenge of giving tyres several lives in order to reduce their cost. It was against this backdrop that retreading was born 100 years ago.
Embark on a journey through history to discover how Michelin took hold of this innovative technology.



To increase mileage, let’s retread!

During the interwar years, when transport was expanding in a difficult economic context, customers needed reliable tires that would keep people and property safe, and have a long service life at a reasonable cost.

After seeing that a tyre’s tread wears far more quickly than its casing, Michelin proposed, way back in 1923, to make the tire reusable by retreading it: a process that, 100 years later, has never been more topical!


photo 1

Michelin invents the “Metallic”, the steel-casing tyre

To be able to carry heavy loads, the casing on truck tires is made up of dozens of fabric plies. The second challenge for Michelin was to develop an innovation that would allow tyres to be retreaded several times. In 1937, the company invented the "Metallic" tyre, the first to have a steel carcass made up of just four plies of steel cord.


photo 2

Michelin first trials of retreading truck tyre

The Avallon factory in South of France produces out the first hot-retread truck tyre.


photo 3

A brand new Remix Process

Because Michelin has always sought to maintain the quality and reliability of retreaded tyres, it launches the invention of the Remix process in 1966. Thanks to this process, tyres can now be rebuilt using the original products and manufacturing methods of a new tyre. What difference does this make to a fleet's productivity? Well, it means mileage of up to 100% that of a new tyre!(1)

(1) The tread compound and pattern of the MICHELIN Remix® tyres are largely the same as those used for new MICHELIN tyres. 90% of the range of MICHELIN Remix® tyres uses the same mould and the same materials as new MICHELIN tyres which may lead to up to equivalent performance between MICHELIN Remix® tyres and new Michelin tyres. Internal evaluations carried out by the Michelin Research and Technology Centre based on customer testimonials collected in Europe since 2015.


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Remix tyre production continues to soar

Over the decades, Michelin has continued to assert its role as a major player in hot retreading. In 2021, the 18 millionth Michelin Remix® tyre is manufactured in Hombourg, Germany, in our largest retreading plant in Europe. And that's just the beginning!


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Retreading has become a must

100 years on, retreading still represents a major challenge for fleets, offering economical, reliable and environmentally-friendly tyres. With environmental issues more than ever at the heart of our innovations, retreading has many benefits for the planet:

  • -Reduced co2 emissions, For every 100 tyres retreaded, you prevent over 11,6 tonnes (1) of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.
  • -Reduced consumption of material 1 Retread = 50 Kilos (1) of raw materials less than the amount required to manufacture a new tyre
  • -Reduced waste, each retreaded tyre is one less tyre to recycle!

1923 2023 new

Innovative retreading addresses issues of the past, present and future. Today, it is an effective response against a backdrop of inflation, a health crisis, international instability and a raw materials crisis. As a true partner to small and medium-sized fleets, Michelin will continue to innovate in the future to help you control your operating costs and minimise your impact on the environment. The adventure continues, stay tuned!


(1) The CO2 saving associated with the retreading operation is calculated from the associated material saving. In terms of material saving, a MICHELIN Remix® retreaded tyre covers up to 100% of the mileage of a new MICHELIN tyre (the tread mix and tread pattern of MICHELIN Remix® tyres are largely the same as those for new Michelin tyres; 90% of tyres in the MICHELIN Remix® range are made from the same mould and the same materials as new Michelin tyres and therefore perform equally as well; according to internal tests conducted by the Michelin Research and Technology centre and customer testimonials collected in Europe since 2015). A new tyre weighs 70 kg on average. A new tyre ready to be retreaded weighs 50 kg on average. The CO2 impact of a retreaded tyre is linked to the material saving, or 115 kg of CO2 representing 50 kg of raw material savings, at a rate of 2.3 kg of CO2* per kg of raw materials. * Equivalence between CO2 and a litre of fuel or kilogram of raw material is calculated in this way: The emissions factor of 3.24 kg of CO2 for 1 litre of diesel comes from the life cycle assessment conducted by ADEME for pure

diesel. It includes emissions during the diesel production stages (17%) and during its combustion (83%). Source: ADEME, Study «Well to wheel - JEC», v4, july 2014. The emissions factor of 2.3 kg of CO2 for 1 kg of tyre comes from the life cycle assessment calculations for production of a tyre cradle to gate), conducted internally by Michelin using the calculation rules developed by the tyre manufacturing profession (TIP). It includes stages including extraction of raw materials, transportation, manufacturing, and distribution. Source: UL Environment Standard, «Product Category Rules for preparing an Environmental Product Declaration for the product category: Tires», v3.05, february 2022.

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