Company Tests Environmentally-Friendly Airless Tires
Bridgestone has developed a concept tire featuring thermoplastic spokes, which reduces rolling resistance and saves fuel.
Bridgestone are developing an airless concept tire that could prove to be a more environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional pneumatic tires in the future. The tire features a band of rubber tread around of web of thermoplastic spokes that radiate from the center aluminum wheel. The spokes are stiff enough to avoid vibration (which wastes energy), yet soft enough to provide a comfortable ride.
These airless tires have a lesser impact on the environment and would make vehicles more efficient. They reduce rolling resistance (thus saving fuel), require less maintenance (as there is no need to refill them with air), no worry of punctures, and the materials used are 100% recyclable. Bridgestone is currently testing eight-inch-diameter airless tires for vehicles like carts and forklifts, while also developing a larger test version for passenger cars.