Airless Tires for Military Vehicles


Photo: Resilient Technologies


Pneumatic tires take a lot of abuse in combat, which is why Resilient Technologies is trying to develop an airless tire. Because they can't be punctured, vehicles equipped with such tires can stay mobile after taking damage that would incapacitate others:

The Wisconsin design breakthrough, first developed by Resilient's in-house design and development team, takes a page from nature. "The goal was to reduce the variation in the stiffness of the tire, to make it transmit loads uniformly and become more homogenous," Osswald says. "And the best design, as nature gives it to us, is really the honeycomb."....

The patent-pending Resilient design relies on a precise pattern of six-sided cells that are arranged, like a honeycomb, in a way that best mimics the "ride feel" of pneumatic tires. The honeycomb geometry also does a great job of reducing noise levels and reducing heat generated during usage - two common problems with past applications.


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Okay, so most anyone with a moderate knowledge of automobile history will likely know about solid rubber tires and their precursory role in relation to the pneumatic variety.

I find it interesting that this same latticed concept of solid/flexible hybrid has also been around nearly as long.

Behold the Trublproof tire from 1920, via the Shorpy blog:
http://www.shorpy.com/node/5270?size=_original
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Better put some sidewalls on those things. Around here that honeycomb would get clogged with mud and gravel, which would tear it up pretty quickly.
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Brett maxwell this kind of tires can be highly cost-effective, because the chosen cell-pattern can be made with an extruder as a near endless compartmented tube with threads and all. That tube can be cut to pieces and then fitted on axles. That is a way to mass-produce and to cheaply make LOTS of tires at a fraction of the compexity of conventional tires.

Jimbo this kind of tires is mainly for heavy-duty use- so not the high speeds of 65mls p/h and higher, but rather the lower speeds of military use during patrols and off-road actions. Some inbalance in such wheels is barely an issue at such speeds.
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