Tires are what get people moving around the world. Whether on automobiles, planes, bikes, or wheelchairs. They also need to be maintained in order work properly with whatever they are attached to. Many manual wheelchair tires are and solid don’t need too much maintenance. However electric wheelchairs and scooters have inflatable tires that require a little more attention. Proper inflation needs to be maintained for balance and tread wear. Inflatable tires are also susceptible to air leaks and punctures. Bridgestone is working on a new tire that would eliminate the maintenance issues of inflatable tires while keeping their advantages. Their Non-Pneumatic Airless Tire would also be lighter and environmentally friendly.
Bridgestone’s airless tire began as a way to create a tire that would help with sustainability and be eco-friendly. The outside of the tire is the same as a standard tire with a rubber tread. Between the outside tread and inner hub is a series of spokes made of thermoplastic resin. The spokes are arranged in a way to give structural support while still being able to flex like an inflatable tire. Which gives cushion while going over bumps.
With no air inside the tire to worry about, punctures and regular air refillings are no longer a worry. Just a replacement when the tread wears down. The light weight also would help with fuel economy on vehicles. All of the materials used to make the tire are recyclable. Though you may wonder about dirt and other stuff getting in between the spokes. Well I think they left them exposed so they could show off the technology. If these tire were to go public I’m sure the spokes would get covered.
Electric wheelchair and scooter users would have to worry less about tire maintenance with these tires. Less concern would also be had when going over surfaces that might damage or puncture an inflatable tire. For more information on Bridgestone’s Non-Pneumatic Airless Tire visit this link.