Bridgestone's airless tyre
Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone unveiled a new, thermoplastic- resin-based, puncture-proof, airless tyre at the last Tokyo Motor Show (December 2011).
The challenge that the Japanese tyre maker set itself was to deliver the same level of shock absorption as a traditional high-end tyre – i.e., the pneumatic kind - while minimizing wear and making it puncture-proof.
Based on a complex intermesh of spokes in thermoplastic resin, a resin whose heat-malleable properties allow it to be easily moulded or extruded, hardening again as it cools, the tyre designed would meet the challenge set, i.e., offering the same level of shock absorption as a standard tyre but without the usual hassles of having to check tyre pressure or change flat tyres. And not only can it be driven over broken glass, but this puncture-proof tyre is recyclable! As yet, this airless tyre is still in the concept stage, but Bridgestone says it has been developed with the aim of going into commercial production soon.