Even if this is not a new idea on the auto parts market, a French company released some “long resisting” tire chains made entirely from plastic, claiming that they could efficiently substitute the metal ones.
Plastic components can substitute almost anything these days, but to rely on them when driving on snowy conditions is at least questionable. Snow chains made from plastic, for tires, are usually to be found and sold by some Chinese stores, but an European company says the idea can be trustworthy, as even at low temperatures plastic can efficiently substitute metal. The French textile and rubber company Joubert Productions has put on the market such chains, whose links are made entirely from Elastollan, a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) produced by BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world. The company says the material meets the European safety standards, making it abrasion resistant, flexible at low temperatures, and resistant to loose chippings and road salt.
In this type of chains, the conventional metal mesh is replaced by two Elastollan grades of different colors that chemically adhere to one another in the injection-molding process, and so do not have to be additionally assembled. The black Elastollan with a harder setting is claimed to have very good mechanical properties along with extra flexibility at low temperatures, while the red material is more flexible and easy flowing. As the plastic links are much lighter than the conventional metal mesh, the snow chains are easy to handle and quick to remove. Therefore, they are lighter and easier to fit and supposedly cheaper, but would you trust the idea and test them for yourself?