No More Flat Tires July 15, 2015Posted by Retired Geezer in Art, Literature.
at their core they’re just piles of air, surrounded by a rubber donut.
Hankook Tire thinks we can do better. The South Korean manufacturer has been developing a non-pneumatic tire for a while. We first saw the concept in 2013, when it was one integrated unit, combining tire and rim in one.
Now, Hankook has completed initial testing on its fifth-generation airless tire, dubbed the iFlex. The tires do not require any air pressure, instead relying on a new type of eco-friendly material (the company demurs when asked for details). Geometric shapes built into the material provide the bounce and springiness normally provided by air pressure. But, unlike the previous iFlex, this version’s designed to mount onto a traditional rim, making it compatible with current vehicles.
Hankook ran the iFlex through a battery of tests to compare it to more conventional rubber, measuring durability, hardness, stability, slalom and speed, at up to 80 mph. The company says the tires matched conventional tires in terms of performance.