Bridgestone Corporation has developed a non-pneumatic (i.e., airless) concept tire that it says could prove to be a viable and more environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional tires in the future.
Non-pneumatic tires have a lesser impact on the environment than today’s conventional tires, but previously such concept tires have been impractical to produce for the mass market. Bridgestone developed this technology with the aim of practical implementation.
With a unique structure of spokes stretching along the inner sides of the tyres supporting the weight of the vehicle, there is no need to periodically refill the tires with air, meaning that the tires require less maintenance. At the same the worry of punctures is eliminated. In addition, the spoke structure within the tyre is made from reusable thermoplastic resin, and along with the rubber in the tread portion, the materials used in the tires are 100% recyclable.
Bridgestone is pursuing this technological development with the aim of achieving a “cradle to cradle” process that proactively maximizes the cyclical use of resources from worn tire into new tires and the use of recyclable resources.