Airless tyres Road to the Future? I am not so sure
This is yet another good video to watch explaining the development of the airless tyres?
These tyres are already in use on garden machinery and other larger digger type machines. I do not think they are especially new
technology though as similar types of wheels and tyres are used on fork-trucks and road surfacing machines.
The new wheel assemblies are now made from lighter and stronger materials and i do not think that they should be called tyres at all. They are just strips of tread like rubber stuck to a wheel?
The Michelin Tweel concept wheel ! Of course, is already been used on things such as large lawn mowers . Including, plant equipment such as JCB diggers. Helping to solve the problem of down time. Due to puncture repairs.
So, in my younger days, I would repair many different type and sizes of tyres. Consequently, I was on callout. Of course, to some of these civil engineering companies. Interestingly, that were constantly getting puncture repairs. So, we had to change the tyres or repair the puncture as quickly as possible.
Solid tyres were to be used on plant and off road vehicles
I must admit that even then . Thus, I could see the need for wheels with a tread stuck to them. Similar to the fork lift trucks that were using such products at the time. The problem then was that the solid type tyres were no good on rough terrain, where pneumatic tyres were needed to take the weight and pressures between the rough surface and the machines.
This is the difference between the old type solid wheels and the new airless wheel assemblies. Are the Airless tyres Road to the Future ! Well the spokes now replace the job of the tyre sidewall, and the tread that is vulcanised onto the wheel gives the required grip, and so this could be a good idea.
Hankook tyres have already tested their concept wheels on a Kia car with speeds of up to 80 mph. so the idea does look possible. The thing i wonder about though is what will happen to the millions of people who are employed in the tyre industry?
Are these tyre companies just making a “rod for their own backs”?