Japan unveils airless tires.
Toyo Tire & Rubber Co unveiled a pilot model of an airless tire that eliminates the risk of a flat tire and time to pump air.
The company has not decided on when to put the airless tire “noair” into practical use but is working to market the prospective next-generation product at an early date, company officials said.
The airless tire features 50 sets of cross-shaped resin supporting rods lined up in a circle in place of air to bolster the weight of a vehicle and absorb shocks from the road.
The company has been working on the product since 2006 to improve durability and reduce noise. While the previous prototypes ran at a low- to moderate-speed, the latest one is capable of operating at a high speed up to some 120 kilometers per hour, the officials said.
The durability of the latest prototype has increased by more than eightfold compared with the previous pilot models, the company said.
Toyo Tire conducted a demonstration run using a passenger car at a park in Osaka, saying it has become the first company in the tire industry to hold such a test in public.
However, airless tires cannot currently be used on public roads as the Japanese road traffic law has no regulation regarding such tires.
Other tire makers including Bridgestone Corp are also in the race to develop airless tires which have capabilities similar to conventional tires.