Airless tyres
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default Airless tyres

    A few years ago Michelin showed a prototype tyre without an air chamber. It seems to have faded from sight but Bridgestone have carried on exploring the idea. They are showing a second generation version at the Tokyo Salon.

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTKEN...?v=dTKEN07C2E8

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    The obvious problem is vulnerability to damage and kerb scrapes would be a no-no. They are looking to find a way of protecting the spokes and without that I can't see it even making the golf cart market. Any small object trapped in it will put the structure at risk. If they can solve that problem and its rolling resistance is low, it could penetrate the electric car market.
    It not only rotates but is recyclable!
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I've had a good few airless tyres in my time Gerry, starting with a cross-ply losing total air pressure at 80mph in the Zephyr Station Wagon a few miles out of Goulburn on the old Hume Highway in the early sixties. It provoked some interesting handling characteristics at the time. I'd be game to say that the reason airless tyres have never taken off for vehicles that exceed walking speed is due to a few more than chronically limiting factors!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Ah so, but pneumatic tyres normally only go flat at the bottom as any blonde will tell you. These new tyres suffer from airless rupture if the polypropylene spokes get something trapped in them.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Interesting! I never thought of my flat crossplys being only flat on the bottom! I worked out that for every bit of flat tyre that rotated that the next bit would be flat also! I can now see I was wrong! A line perpendicular to the road surface would always have a flat bit, whether the tyre rotated or not!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTKEN...?v=dTKEN07C2E8

    The obvious problem is vulnerability to damage and kerb scrapes would be a no-no. They are looking to find a way of protecting the spokes and without that I can't see it even making the golf cart market. Any small object trapped in it will put the structure at risk. If they can solve that problem and its rolling resistance is low, it could penetrate the electric car market.
    It not only rotates but is recyclable!
    There is one definite plus, though. It seems Michelin has finally found a way to combat the usual problem of dry rotting and splitting of the sidewall.
    The measure of your character isn't what you do when people are watching- it's what you do when they aren't watching.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Airless tyres-flattyre.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    Interesting! I never thought of my flat crossplys being only flat on the bottom! I worked out that for every bit of flat tyre that rotated that the next bit would be flat also! I can now see I was wrong! A line perpendicular to the road surface would always have a flat bit, whether the tyre rotated or not!
    Hi Kim,
    The mistake you made back in the "good old days" with the Zedfire was to slow down. If you had burried the foot in the mighty six and speeded up, the centrifugal forces would have flung the tyre out into shape From my experience a Zedfire on crossplies and handling were not usually used in the same sentence How did we survive ?
    jaahn

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    Many years ago at the local servo a lady pulled in;you still had service in those days;and asked for the air in her tyres to be changed as it had been in there "a long time" the attendant obliged,Andy

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi Kim,
    The mistake you made back in the "good old days" with the Zedfire was to slow down. If you had burried the foot in the mighty six and speeded up, the centrifugal forces would have flung the tyre out into shape From my experience a Zedfire on crossplies and handling were not usually used in the same sentence How did we survive ?
    jaahn
    At that particular point in time Jaahn there was a lot of wheel twirling survivability going on I can assure you. The next best part was finding the hydraulic jack I got with the second hand Zephyr when full extended didn't even reach any part of the vehicle to enable a tyre change. I had to build a cairn of rocks dragged from the roadside to get enough lift to get the wheel off the ground. Every time a semi-trailer went past it bloody near blew the car off the rock pile! Great fun!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    The last time I was in Sideney was 25 years ago and the local servo operator was charging 40cents to check your own tyres, did this catch on mainstream there or was this guy just kidding himself..?
    Every day when I wake up I reach up in the darkness with my eyes shut and if I cannot feel anything that resembles a wooden lid I know it will be a good day. No lid today.

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