Saturday 21 October 2017

End of punctures in sight as air-free tyres ready to roll

The air-free concept for cars.
The air-free concept for cars.

Brian Jaffray Tokyo

YOU will soon be able to drive your car without having to worry about ever getting a puncture.

It will all be made possible by revolutionary 'air-free' tyres. They rely on a hi-tech mesh of thermoplastic resin rather than air to stay 'inflated' – and that means that they cannot go flat. The material in them is flexible, durable and 100pc recyclable.

The new tyres will be on Irish cars within three to five years, it was predicted here last night. Talks with car makers have already begun about having them fitted to upcoming models.

A series of special spokes stretching along the inner sides of the tyres supports the vehicle's weight. That means you won't have to periodically refill the tyres with air. And the worry of punctures is eliminated.

The concept has been in development for some time but last night Bridgestone announced it is now in a position to have the tyres on the road in the near future.

The air-free concept for cars was unveiled to great fanfare in Japan in 2013, but obviously a lot has progressed since then.

Bridgestone's global marketing chief Shu Ishibashi said: "We are already in talks with numerous car manufactures and we plan to introduce the 'Air-Free Concept' tyre to the market within a three to five-year period."

Air-free tyres have been used on small vehicles such as motorised golf buggies for some time, but their lack of flexibility and rolling resistance restricted their use – until now – on cars.

Now Bridgestone says it will be first to market with the concept.

It is claimed that these tyres will be safer and less wasteful and that the thermoplastic resin used to keep them inflated can be recycled into new tyres.

Indo Motoring

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