Toyo Tire has introduced its latest airless tire concept, Noair, which does not require any inflating.
By implementing fundamental changes in the tire structure from previous prototypes and resolving apparent issues, engineers have achieved substantial improvements in multiple performance areas and have made it possible to drive the tires practically.
For the inner core side, the basic tire structure comprises special high-rigidity resin spokes to ensure sufficient strength to support the load. Basic tire performance, namely driving forward, turning and stopping, is made possible thanks to the rubber material of the outer tread.
The section between the spokes and rubber tread, the outer diameter ring, is reinforced with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which reduced the load imposed on the spokes.
Previous prototypes supported the load through an elliptical spoke configuration, but the latest version has evolved into an X-shaped spoke configuration that alternately crosses the width of the Noair tire from the outside to the inside and vice versa. Durability has been improved by achieving a completely unique support configuration form.
Furthermore, the number of spokes has been doubled (100 pitch) compared to the previous model, distributing contact pressure, reducing the impact sounds from the spokes that are generated when they come into contact with the ground, and achieving an even more quieter ride.
Durability vastly exceeds the equivalent legal and regulatory requirements for Toyo Tires commercial products (pneumatic tires) and is at least eight times better than previous prototypes.
Rolling resistance has been reduced by at least half compared to previous prototypes and is 25% better than Toyo’s commercial products. High environmental and safety performance levels have also been achieved, such as reducing wet braking distance by 4%. This is partly thanks to a fuel efficient tread rubber composed through the company’s Nano Balance Technology, a unique material design core technology.
Road noise has been significantly improved compared to previous prototypes, with a level similar to that of current pneumatic tires.
According to the results of performance tests conducted by driving the tires on real cars, it was found that there are still some issues related to noise within the vehicle, and ride quality, handling stability and noise outside the vehicle have been significantly improved, with progress made in narrowing the gap with Toyo Tires commercial products (pneumatic tires) for a majority of the indexes.
Toyo Tires has also made dramatic advances from previous prototypes in terms of technological breakthroughs, such as material selection, unique structural design, enhancement and integration of various technologies, and optimization of the overall tire balance.
September 14, 2017