Bridgestone is developing puncture proof air free tyres.
A structure of spokes – made of thermoplastic resin - stretch along the inner sides of the tyres and support the weight of the vehicle. Along with the rubber in the tread portion, the materials used in the tires are recyclable. Due to the absence of the air in the concept, tyre pressures do not need monitoring.
Bridgestone has tested the tyres on a very light test vehicle weighing 410kg up to speeds of 37mph (to put it in context a Ford Ka has a kerb weight of 840kg). Further testing will continue as the company looks to develop a production ready version.
A statement from Bridgestone said: “About 90% of energy loss from tire rolling resistance comes from repeated changes in the shape of tires as they roll.
“In the second generation of airless tires, Bridgestone has succeeded in making a significant reduction in energy loss by using proprietary materials technologies and simplifying the structure of the tires. As a result, these air free concept tyres have achieved the same level of low rolling resistance as our pneumatic fuel-efficient tires.”