Polymer Expert Evaluates Source Of Allegedly Defective Tire Failure

Polymer ExpertThis case involves a woman who sustained a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident. While the woman was driving approximately 70 mph on the highway, her back tire failed, causing her to crash into the car behind her. The driver’s motorcycle used a tire with a spoked rim. After examination, it was determined that the tire was not defective, but rather, the loss of air from the rim may have attributed to the crash. Because of the unique nature of the wheel and rim, a rubber rim seal was placed on the rim to prevent chafing. It was also discovered in the examination that that rim seal completely detached from the air valve. An expert in polymerization was sought to review the case.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience with polymerization and/or manufacturing of motorcycle airtubes.
  • 3. Will you be able to determine the potential effects the rim seal detaching from the air valve?

Expert Witness Response E-083080

I have a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and have worked as a polymer chemist for about 35 years. I was part of a group that studied rubber products for military applications for about 7 years. I have worked for the US government, for universities, for privately held small businesses and for a medium-sized manufacturer of polymer products. I have worked as a consulting polymer chemist for 5+ years. I am familiar with polymerization of tire or inner tub rubber. With more information, I believe that I can determine the effects of the rim seal detaching from the air valve.

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