Bridgestone Corporation today announced it has developed a non-pneumatic (i.e., airless) concept tire that could prove to be a viable and more environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional tires in the future.
Non-pneumatic tires have a lesser impact on the environment than today’s conventional tires, but previously such concept tires have been impractical to produce for the mass market. Bridgestone developed this technology with the aim of practical implementation.
With a unique structure of spokes stretching along the inner sides of the tires supporting the weight of the vehicle, there is no need to periodically refill the tires with air, meaning that the tires require less maintenance. At the same the worry of punctures is eliminated. In addition, the spoke structure within the tire is made from reusable thermoplastic resin (A synthetic resin that becomes flexible when heated, can be processed into a variety of shapes, and becomes hard when cooled. The changes from heating and cooling can generally be repeated, making it easy to both mold and recycle the material), and along with the rubber in the tread portion, the materials used in the tires are 100 percent recyclable. As a result, the tires set a new standard in terms of environmental friendliness, safety and comfort.
Bridgestone is pursuing this technological development with the aim of achieving a “cradle to cradle” process that proactively maximizes the cyclical use of resources from worn tires into new tires and the use of recyclable resources.