Originally Posted by GSWayne
The claim that sticky strings could wick anything makes no sense. Wicking requires capillary action and capillary action requires a capillary i.e. a small passage where surface tension can pull a liquid against the force of gravity. If there was a capillary the air would come out. Before it leaked out the surface tension would have to fight against 30 psi pressure, which is also illogical. The only way the sticky string could get junk into a tire is if the outer end was not cut off and the weight of the vehicle forced some of the exposed and dirty string into the tire. This means it was not installed correctly.
Worst case, if the leak is sealed only at the inner surface of the tire, then there is no pressure in the "hole" so capillary action could possibly occur into the area of the tire between the tread and inner surface where the belts reside. However, even in this situation, the fibers/cords of the string type plug would have to provide a capillary structure for moisture/contaminants to wick into. This seems highly improbable to me if the string type plugs have been completely coated/injected/etc. with a non water soluble coating/filler. So yes, I agree that the wicking argument doesn't seem very plausible.
Like many of you I've seen my share of tire repairs over the years. The first 8 years of my working life were spent as an automotive technician working for Goodyear Tire and Rubber. I've patched/plugged numerous tires with no problems. I've removed worn out car tires that had string and patch type repairs that were still functioning. I'll run string type repairs, as long as they are not in the sidewall/edge of the tire, on my cars until the tires wear out. I won't run ANY type of repaired tire on my motorcycle any further than neccesary to get the tire changed out.
P.S. I have seen plenty of tires that failed due to being run with too low pressure but can't think of a single failure from being repaired with string type plugs.