By Euro Weekly News Media • 04 January 2014 • 16:21
AIR FREE: Environmentally-friendly, fuel-efficient tyres.
BRIDGESTONE Corporation is closer to a viable, commercially available, air free car tyre.
The multinational manufacturer revealed its second generation ‘Air Free Concept (Non-Pneumatic) tire’ at the 43 Tokyo Motor Show 2013.
With a unique structure of spokes stretching along the inner sides of the tyres supporting the weight of the vehicle, the concept tyres don’t need to be periodically refilled with air.
As a consequence, they require less maintenance while eliminating the worry of punctures at the same time.
In addition, the spoke structure is made from thermoplastic resin and, along with the rubber in the tread portion; the materials used in the tyres are recyclable, contributing to the efficient use of resources.
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 tyres into new tyres and the use of recyclable resources.
Bridgestone is further optimising the spoke structure by using high-strength but flexible high-performance resin as a material and employing finite element method (FEM) simulations in the design to reduce stress and deformation in the inner part of the tyre.
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.
Bridgestone has made a significant reduction in energy loss by using proprietary materials technologies and simplifying the structure of the tyres.
As a result, these concept tyres have achieved the same level of low rolling resistance as their pneumatic fuel-efficient tyres, making possible a contribution to reductions in CO2 emissions.
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