Automotive

Bridgestone's airless tires are designed to never go flat

Bridgestone's airless tires ar...
Bridgestone's airless tires are made from entirely recyclable material
Bridgestone's airless tires are made from entirely recyclable material
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Bridgestone's airless tires are made from entirely recyclable material
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Bridgestone's airless tires are made from entirely recyclable material
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This week at the Tokyo Auto Show in Japan, Bridgestone showed off its latest development - puncture-less air-free tires. The tires are still in the concept phase, but have been successfully tested on single-person vehicles in Japan traditionally used for elderly people.

The 9-inch wheels have thermoplastic-resin spokes that radiate from the rim to the tread, curving to the left and right for maximum structural support. The tires' solid design doesn't require air, and consequently can't be punctured - so, no more flat tires.

Also interesting is the material the tires are made of, which is entirely recyclable.

Still in the testing phase, Bridgestone plans to heavily evaluate the tires' performance on traditional cars before making them available to the general public.

While certainly interesting, Bridgestone's tires aren't the first we've heard of to go air-free. Airless tire technology has been under investigation for years, with Michelin's airless Tweel tires even winning the Intermat Gold Medal for Innovation in 2006.

Source: Tech-on

31 comments
Tylor English
I could see snow getting logged in them affecting balance.
Wombat56
Michelin\'s Tweel tyres have slightly worse fuel economy and become noisy above 80 or 90 kph. I wonder how these tyres do in comparison? Puncture-less tyres can be useful in harsh environments like junk yards etc. so they might have industrial applications even if they are not suitable for road use.
Joseph Shimandle
... and the performance as filling the voids with snow, mud, or dirt buils up would limit the flexible of the inner structure. It needs a removable light weight flexible outer skin to prevent this build up. It would be cool to custom paint that wheel skin.
Australian
I would imagine the finished product does not have open sidewalls. There would still be issues to overcome with this design on automobiles. With conventional tyres you adjust tyre pressure according to load. There is a trade-off between grip,wear and rolling resistance. Will be interesting to see how they account for this requirement.
BigGoofyGuy
I think it is an excellent tire for those cars too small for a spare; or for ones that have spare as an option instead of part of the cars standard equipment. I would not mind testing it on my little car. :)
Joseph Shimandle
You would think they would not have an open design, but from the tread pattern with slots showing the green \'rim\' structure, the camphered edges of the rubber treads, and the concave flared shape of the ribs were they meet the rim structure, that these rims are not designed to have an outer shell.
Gadgeteer
I don\'t know anybody who adjusts their tire pressures. Every car driver I know just goes by the pressure rating on the side of the tire. Some even guess. Even though most would really be better off going a few PSI lower for better ride and traction As for the look, I\'m sure the visible structure is just for show in these development prototypes, just so people can see what they\'re made of and how they work. I can imagine the finished product (assuming it ever makes it to market) having a flexible cover that makes the wheel look like a very large alloy wheel with a super-low profile pneumatic tire, just the way many \"bling\"-obsessed inner city drivers like it.
Anumakonda Jagadeesh
Will be popular.
fofu
I don\'t get the fuss over no flat tiers. I\'ve been driving for 25 years and have had only two flats in that entire time, and when I did they only cost about $20 to fix. Most people have only a handful of flats over their driving lifetime, unless they are careless idiots who abuse their cars and tires, so the extra expense seems a waste.
Todd Dunning
Wondering what the weight differential is. We all would like these work of course - the idea of riding on squishy balloons waiting to pop was never too great anyway.