(This article is just a collection through Google search, what found in Wikipedia and company’s write up. I request a person from industry well versed to help us with a better write up)
Tire making is a cumber-some and an elaborate process. But there is no alternate easier process or material found that can carry high load, survive in many unfair condition and bear many other impacts on it. But efforts are on.
Hovercraft, helicopter etc. have various shortcomings and limitations.
Drones are experimented for delivering and it may even be used by people shortly like Tony Stark (Ironman).
The Tweel is an airless tire design concept
developed by the French tire company Michelin. In 2005, Michelin started developing an integrated tire and wheel combination, the "Tweel" (derived from "tire" and "wheel," as the name ‘Tweel’) which operates entirely without air. Michelin claims its "Tweel" has load carrying, shock absorbing, and handling characteristics that compare favorably to conventional pneumatic tires.
However, it is said the tire has a lot of vibration when driving over 80 km/h (50 mph). The automotive engineering group of the mechanical engineering department at Clemson University is developing a low energy loss airless tire with Michelin.
Its significant advantage over pneumatic tires is that the Tweel cannot burst, leak pressure, or become flat as it does not use compressed air, as load carrying medium.
In June 2017 in Montreal, tire manufacturer Michelin unveiled a new airless tire concept that could revolutionize the way we do anything that involves a tire. The Visionary Concept tire is an airless, 3D printed tire made from recycled biodegradable materials.
The design is a generative one, which mimics the concept from coral or human lung air sacs. This means that the tire never needs to be replaced, but
rather can just have “tread” added to it by 3D printing. And since the tire is a “smart” tire, it is constantly sending usage information to a smartphone app which would allow the driver to know when the treads need to be updated.
Speaking of treads, the Visionary Concept tire also allows for easy switching between multiple tread patterns. So, if you need a winter tire for going up to the mountains or an off the road tire for some backwoods driving, it’ll be as simple as the push of a button.
And since there is no air, that means the end of flat tires or being tires being punctured by nails. Plus, according to Digital Trends, the Visionary Concept tire is made of materials like natural rubber, bamboo, paper, tin cans, wood and plastic, which means it can be totally recycled after its life cycle.
The bike industry has been a bit quicker to adopt the concept of airless tires, but that’s also because a tire for a car needs to be extremely more complex than a tire for a bike. Michelin’s Executive VP of Research and Development Terry Gettys told Digital Trend it would be about another decade for it to get to consumers.
Considering it could eliminate the need for replacing tires and manufacturing difficult-to-recycle ones, it’ll be worth the wait.
Engineers discovered a top-loader airless radial tire was the solution. The Tweel is composed of a shear beam made from steel and rubber connected to a rigid or deformable hub with thin, deformable polyurethane spokes that transfer the load around the circumference of the tread band.
Airless tires, or non-pneumatic tires (NPT), are tires that are not supported by air pressure. They are used on some small vehicles such as riding lawn mowers and motorized golf carts. They are also used on heavy equipment such as backhoes, which are required to operate on sites such as building demolition, where risk of tire punctures is high. Tires composed of closed-cell polyurethane foam are also made for bicycles and wheelchairs.
The main advantage of airless tires is that they cannot go flat. Other advantages are that airless tires will be more durable. Heavy equipment outfitted with airless tires will be able to carry more weight and engage in more rugged activities. Airless bicycle tires can be easy to install. Airless lawn mower tires come in several varieties.
Airless tires generally can have higher rolling resistance and provide somewhat less suspension than similarly shaped and sized pneumatic tires. Other problems for airless heavy equipment tires include dissipating the heat buildup that occurs when they are driven.
Airless tires are often filled with compressed polymers (plastic), rather than air or can be a solid molded product.
Airless tires are attractive to cyclists, as bicycle tires are much more
vulnerable to punctures than motor vehicle tires. The drawbacks to airless tires depend on the use. Heavy equipment operators who use machinery with solid tires will complain of fatigue whereas lawn mowers that use solid or airless tires have no drawbacks. Bicycle riders who use airless tires may complain that the tire is harder than a comparable pneumatic tire. Only anecdotal evidence exists that airless tires may cause broken spokes on a bicycle wheel. Any airless tire will be heavier than the rubber tire it is meant to replace however many rubber pneumatic tires are also heavy. Rubber tires vary in rolling resistance and an airless tire or solid insert may marginally increase rolling resistance if at all.
Installation of airless tires depends on the use. Heavy equipment will need special equipment to mount but an airless bicycle tire can be mounted with little or no effort. Solid airless lawnmower tires come pre-installed on the wheel allowing quick installation.
Many bicycle-sharing systems use these tires to reduce maintenance.
Crocodile Tyres developed and sells a robust version that bolts to standard mining equipment. Crocodile airless tire technology is the result of many years of development in Western Australia, one of the harshest environments in the world for off-road tires. The result is a maintenance-free off-road industrial tire, which provides exceptional tread life and durability, while at the same time providing a soft cushioned ride, to the benefit of operator comfort and machine transmission life.
The major advantages are the:
Elimination of the need for a custom rim (required by other non-pneumatic tires)
Superior ride comfort with key features protected by international patents
Ability to customize the disc centre to suit many various machines and applications
Croc Tyres Pty Ltd is a private company registered in Australia and based in Brisbane, Queensland which has the rights to the patented Crocodile Tyre technology and associated trademarks and retains the exclusive right to manufacture and distribute Crocodile tyres worldwide.
Resilient Technologies and the University of Wisconsin–Madison's Polymer Engineering Center are creating a "non-pneumatic tire", which is basically a round polymeric honeycomb wrapped with a thick, black tread. In military combat, vehicle tires are critical, as blown tires can mean troops are stranded in dangerous situations. Wausau, Wis.-based Resilient Technologies is working on a non-pneumatic tire with a honeycomb-like design, which can’t be shot out and could save lives.
UW-Madison engineers are partnering with Resilient to develop the tire and help the company grow in Wisconsin.
The collaboration is another example of UW–Madison’s strong ties to Wisconsin’s economy. Last week, an economic study found that the university’s impact on the state economy totals $12.4 billion a year, helps support 128,146 Wisconsin jobs and generates $614 million in state tax revenue.
Bridgestone is developing the Bridgestone Air-Free Concept Tire, which is similar to the Tweel, and can hold 150 kg per tire.
The Energy return wheel has the outer edge of the tire connected to the inner rim by a system of springs. The springs can have their tension changed to vary the handling characteristics.
Big Tyre Pty Ltd in Australia is developing a "non-pneumatic, non-solid wheel", which is designed to handle high working loads, such as those found in underground mines. The wheel utilizes multiple arrays of concentric leaf springs to distribute force evenly across the wheel. A prototype of the wheel was built in 2011, and has been tested on an Eimco 936 underground loader.
In 1938, J. V. Martin in the United States invented a safety tire with hoops of hickory encased in rubber and fitted with crisscross spokes of ribbed rubber. It could drive over 100 mm (4 inches) blocks when tested in a springless test car.
Hankook Tire is developing the iFlex airless tire. Hankook Tire announced that it had successfully completed its ride and handling tests for its latest non-pneumatic tire (NPT) Hankook iFlex, which is made using eco-friendly materials.
As the name suggests, NPTs do not require air pressure. Hankook Tire has continued researching on the new tire technologies particularly for NPT since 2011. Crucially, the company has been working toward the development of NPTs that achieve all of the practical benefits of conventional air pressure tires while simultaneously enhancing their high speed tire characteristics.
The iFlex, which is the fifth NPT concept tire that Hankook Tire has released, is the culmination of that effort.
The company put the iFlex through a serious of rigorous tests designed to push the tires to their limits in five categories: durability, hardness, stability, slalom (zigzag) and speed. In the speed test, the electric car equipped with iFlex tires reached 130km/h. The impressive results in all five categories demonstrated that the NPTs could match conventional tires in terms of performance.
Construction of the iFlex is centered on a new type of uni-material designed to maximize the tire’s eco-friendly potential. From a manufacturing standpoint, the material used during product construction significantly enhances the energy efficiency.
From a product standpoint, the material allows the iFlex to be recycled with greater ease. Hankook Tire then went one step further, integrating new tire construction techniques to simplify the manufacturing process from eight stages to just four, thus further reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
Hankook Tire initiated in 2013, is operated primarily to let talented engineers and designers bring to life their wildest futuristic dreams for innovative driving experiences. Likewise, Hankook Tire collaborates every two years with world-renowned design schools to host the ‘Design Innovation’ project. This project allows students to propose and study future tire concepts designed at generating safer, more reliable, and more advanced tire performances.
Hankook Tire showed off the results of its Design Innovation Project, a bi-annual daydream challenge to come up with the wildest, most futuristic tire concepts imaginable. This year's winners are amazingly Morphing, transforming tires that change with the terrain to drive on pavement, dirt, snow, and even water.
This is the Boostrac, whose hexagonal treads can expand like a blowfish to dig into steep, rough, loose terrain.
Next is the Alpike, which expands its diameter to increase ground clearance and opens up deep channels in its tread to grip snow and ice. HyBlade, with waterwheel treads and propeller spokes for navigating deep water.