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Bridgestone reveals air-free tyre. Image by Bridgestone.

Bridgestone reveals air-free tyre
Advanced 'second generation' Bridgestone tyre uses spoke structure.


News homepage -> Bridgestone news

What's the news?

The days of tyre kicking at the dealer could be at an end. Bridgestone, the Japanese tyre manufacturer, has - to our eyes anyway - showcased a genuine first. A 'second generation' Air Free Tyre concept was revealed at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show. The tyre is a non-pneumatic design that's manufactured from synthetic high-performance resin that stretches along the inner sidewall of the tyre.

By offering a lower rolling resistance, Bridgestone claims lower emissions, too. It is also pursuing a 'cradle to cradle' strategy to maximise the recyclable potential for each tyre. The chief aim appears to be the recycling of worn tyres into new ones, as sustainably as possible.

Testing by Bridgestone of the Air Free Concept tyre has been on very light vehicles to begin with. Speeds only up to 37mph have been achieved. What's more, Bridgestone claims a significant reduction of energy loss as opposed to pneumatic tyres, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

Is it likely to garner mainstream appeal? Well, there are considerable benefits to finally eliminating a spare wheel and roadside punctures for good. Bear in mind too, Bridgestone has pioneering credentials in new tyre technology, manufacturing its very first tyre as far back as 1930.

Anything else?

Don't get too excited, though. This is a concept only. Besides, previous tyre technology firsts include - and we're not joking here - illuminated tyres that were developed by Goodyear in 1961. They were made from synthetic rubber and brightly lit by bulbs within the wheel rim. Time will tell how the Bridgestone Air Free Concept is received.

Mark Gallivan - 12 Dec 2013

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