Bridgestone Corp. has revealed its second generation air-free concept tire. The manufacturer said the new model features improved load-bearing capabilities, environmental design and driving performance. The tire is “one step closer to a viable, commercially available air-free tire,” Bridgestone stated.
The spokes of the tire made of thermoplastic resin stretch along the inner sides of the tires and support the weight of the vehicle. Along with the rubber in the tread portion, the materials used in the tires are recyclable, contributing to the efficient use of resources.
Further, by pursuing extremely low rolling resistance and contributing to reductions in CO2 emissions through use of proprietary technologies, Bridgestone believes it is possible to achieve even higher levels of environmental friendliness and safety, and is pursuing this technological development with the aim of achieving a “cradle to cradle” process that maximizes the cyclical use of resources from worn tires into new tires and the use of recyclable resources.
Bridgestone details the new technologies present in the new concept as follows:
1) Increased versatility through improved load-bearing capabilities and driving performance. “Bridgestone is further optimizing the spoke structure by using high-strength but flexible high-performance resin as a material and employing finite element method simulations in the design to reduce stress and deformation in the inner part of the tire,” the tiremaker stated. “By doing so, the second generation of air free concept tire has increased versatility through improved load-bearing capabilities and driving performance compared with the first generation. High-speed travel (maximum 60 km/h) in ultralight vehicles has also become possible.”
2) Pursuing low rolling resistance to reduce CO2 emissions. “About 90% of energy loss from tire rolling resistance comes from repeated changes in the shape of tires as they roll,” Bridgestone said. “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 tires have achieved the same level of low rolling resistance as our pneumatic fuel-efficient tires, making possible a contribution to reductions in CO2 emissions.” (Tyres & Accessories)