DEVELOPING THE GAME CHANGING ALLOY WHEEL PROTECTOR
WE WANTED TO CREATE A NEW KIND OF WHEEL RIM PROTECTOR...
One that would be the very best quality available and held in place by the tyre on inflation, but nothing like the existing products in the market. We wanted to overcome shortcoming in other product design and didn't want a product that curves around the face of the wheel. This has disadvantages for several reasons:
- Road salt in winter, grit from the road surface and brake dust get trapped between the wheel rim protector and the face of the wheel rim. These particles getting trapped build up between the two hard surfaces and essentially are abrasive causing damage to the wheel rim surface rendering the original use pointless.
- The movement of the tyre under hard load and when cornering can move on the wheel rim surface causing the rigid plastic style alloy wheel rim protectors to be pushed out causing a safety issue and risk of possible deflation.
- The hard plastic products are marketed as a one size fits all and are cut to the required size. The part that is joined where it breaches the tyre bead can leak air giving further rise to possible deflation and safety issues.
OUR INITIAL TARGETS:
- A new British product that is a new advancement in the field of wheel rim protection.
- A totally new design of wheel rim protector never previously marketed or sold anywhere in the world.
- A product that will effectively protect wheels on a motor vehicle from the damage caused parallel parking against kerbs and encountering potholes whilst driving.
- Reduce damage and expense caused to motorists through wheel damage.
- Reduce the number of replacement wheel required reducing carbon footprint.
- A product that is safe and can pass industry test standards.
- A size specific product with no joins that is moulded from a single piece of one material for strength.
- A product made from a natural and sustainable material.
- A design that sits in a different position to those previously invented to overcome shortcomings of previous inventions.
- A product that can be fully designed, tooled and manufactured totally in the UK on a long-term basis.
The first step was to consider design shape. The product had to essentially have 2 aspects albeit moulded as one. A tail section was required as this would be the portion of the product that is trapped between the wheel and tyre.
The curvature had to be the correct shape as to fit snugly between the two surface and got get caught or flipped off during fitting and final inflation. There would also have to be a head section offering a protective element to the design that is essentially a rubbing surface designed to absorb impact.
The tail section had to be an exact length that would be trapped to it’s full extent between the wheel and tyre surfaces for maximum grip strength, without interfering with initial or primary bead seal of the tyre.
Through careful research of shapes, we were able to match a head section with the tail section that with the correct length of tail section, sat proud of the wheel rim, but also higher than it without actually covering any of the actual wheel rim.
This design also looks more pleasing as by not covering the actual wheel, the styling of the original wheel in unaffected by the fitment of this product.
Once the design shape was established, we needed to look at suitable manufacturing materials.
THE MATERIAL NEEDED TO BE NATURAL AND SUSTAINABLE
The material also needed to be capable of being moulded into the required shape as designed, be both durable and elastic. Durable to be protective and elastic, so a one piece product could be fitted with no joins or clamps. Additionally, it should be available in different colours, UV stable and not affected by road salts or brake dust.
The decided upon material that was most suitable was natural rubber. This is available from both fully sustainable and semi-sustainable sources. However different grades of rubber are available with different levels of elasticity, so the next task was to test the different types of rubber to achieve a balance between required strength, durability and elasticity until the correct balance was achieved. This required a number of attempts to mould different grades of material and then test them to extremes.
Following three full years of research and development we introduce to you, RIMFINITY.