Polaris All-Terrain Specialist To Launch Airless Tyre
An airless tyre will be launched in the USA next year by all-terrain vehicle specialist Polaris, the Mail Online has reported. The benefit, of course, is that this tyre cannot puncture. What a boost for the military, rescue services, and thrill seekers who take vehicles over extremely rough terrain. The tyre's solid rubber tread surrounds a honeycomb-shaped plastic that – in turn – encloses a steel core. The latter connects the wheel to the vehicle. The honeycomb-web bends to absorb obstacles such as rocks, logs and curbs. What a contrast to the traditional set-up whereby the tyre compresses significantly and the wheel maintains most of its shape. This revolutionary product has been tested over hundred of hours – and five-thousand miles – and proven to be tougher than its traditional counterparts. It therefore still operates when thirty percent of its honeycomb-web is damaged. This is another striking contrast to today's rubber. The airless tyre started life with Resilient Technologies which was engaged by the Department of Defence. However, the company has been bought by all-terrain specialist Polaris who will now market the tyre. I suspect its rivals will soon launch similar products.
The Future Of Tyres
The Polaris tyre is for the off-road market but surely the concept could be expanded to road cars. Imagine that. No punctures – ever. This could make life safer as thousands of accidents have been caused by air leaks and inappropriate tyre pressures. Furthermore nobody would have to carry spare wheels, jacks, pumps, and gas repair kits. Future generations will laugh when they learn that old-style tyres – those delicate things that travelled at high speed over rough and sharp surfaces – were filled with oxygen and nitrogen. But there might be a downside. Breakdown specialists such as the Automobile Association replace thousands of flat tyres every year. It is one of the most common problems motorists face along with dead batteries, misplaced keys, and a lack of fuel. However, fewer motorists would require their spare wheel and that could lead to mechanics twiddling their thumbs. Redundancies might follow. Furthermore, new tyre sales could fall as a higher percentage would be replaced when worn rather than damaged. Those who fix holed tyres might struggle too. But this has always been the case. As the world evolves skills become redundant and new ones replace them. How many people can shoe horses these days? So, bring on the airless tyre - it could save lives.