Bridgestone introduces next generation air-free tires!
Imagine an automobile or bicycle tires that never becomes flat, that is exactly the concept behind Bridgestone’s next generation air-free tires. The concept known as the “Air Free Non-Pneumatic Tire” was first revealed at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show in 2013. As of April 17th. 2017 the company announced that, together with Bridgestone Cycle Co., Ltd., they have developed a next generation bicycle tire as an effort to realize practical application of the “Air Free Concept”. This futuristic concept aims to advance technology to create tires that do not need to be inflated with air. The air-free bicycle tire is the first of its kind and the company plans to advance feasibility studies to make it available on the market by 2019. The air-free bicycle tire features a unique structure of spokes along the inner sides of the tire which support the weight of the bicycle and rider.
In addition, the spoke structure is made from thermoplastic resin*1 and together with rubber used in the tread portion, the materials are all recyclable. The bicycle tire will require little to no maintenance, no air and no chances of punctures or flats. Ultimately the aim is to create an air-free tire that has low rolling resistance to reduce CO2 emissions which results from repeated changes in the shape of the tire as it rolls on a surface. In the second generation of air-free tires, Bridgestone has succeeded in significantly reducing energy loss by using proprietary materials technologies and simplifying the structure of the tire. The result has been an air-free tire that has achieved the same level of low rolling resistance as the company’s pneumatic fuel efficient tires. Bridgestone plans to continue advancing development of the “Air Free Concept Tire” as a more environmentally friendly tire than existing pneumatic rubber tires.