Airless Tire

Bridgestone Air-Free

Non-pneumatic tires (NPT), or Airless tires, are tires that are not supported by air pressure. They are used on some small vehicles such as riding lawn mowers and motorized golf carts. They are also used on heavy equipment such as backhoes, which are required to operate on sites such as building demolition, where tire puncture is likely. Tires composed of closed-cell polyurethane foam are also made for bicycles and wheelchairs. Airless tires generally have higher rolling friction and provide much less suspension than similarly shaped and sized pneumatic tires. Other problems for airless tires include dissipating the heat buildup that occurs when they are driven. Airless tires are often filled with compressed polymers (plastic), rather than air.

Michelin is currently developing an integrated tire and wheel combination, the ‘Tweel,’ that operates entirely without air. The automotive engineering department at Clemson University is developing a low energy loss airless tire with Michelin through the NIST ATP project. Resilient Technologies and the University of Wisconsin’s Polymer Engineering Center are creating a ‘non-pneumatic tire,’ which is basically a round polymeric honeycomb wrapped with a thick, black tread. The initial version of the tire is for the Humvee.

Tags:

One Trackback to “Airless Tire”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.