The Tokyo Motor Show 2013 opens to the public on Nov. 23, and during the press days ahead of the official start of the exhibition Bridgestone Corp. unveiled its second-generation ‘air free’ concept tire.
The manufacturer says the latest improvements to the air free concept bring it one step closer to developing a viable, commercially available non-pneumatic tire; the second generation concept features improved load-bearing capabilities plus a more ‘environmental’ design and driving performance.
Vehicle weight is supported by spokes stretching along the inner sides of the tire and, therefore, no air is required, which means less tire maintenance is required and the risk of punctures is eliminated. The spoke structure is made from thermoplastic resin; this is a synthetic resin that becomes flexible when heated, can be processed into a variety of shapes, and becomes hard when cooled.
Both this material and the rubber used in the tire’s tread is recyclable, and Bridgestone says it aims to achieve a ‘cradle to cradle’ process that proactively maximises the cyclical use of resources from worn tires into new tyres and the use of recyclable resources.
Bridgestone is advancing development of the air-free concept tire as a more environmentally friendly product than conventional tires and states its aim to bring about commercial use in a wide range of vehicles as soon as possible. (Tyres & Accessories)