Hankook: iFlex performs like conventional tire
Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. has completed its ride and handling tests for the iFlex, a non-pneumatic tire (NPT), and the results show the airless concept tire can match conventional tires in terms of performance.
The company says it put the iFlex, a non-pneumatic tire (NPT), 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 (80 mph).
The results in all five categories demonstrated that the NPTs could match conventional tires in terms of performance, according to Hankook. At the same time, these results are expected to help the company solidify its position as a global top-tier tire company and, give new momentum to its future-oriented R&D capabilities.
Hankook has been researching on new tire technologies, particularly for NPT, since 2011. The company says it 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 has released, is the culmination of that effort.
Hankook says 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 also integrated new tire construction techniques to simplify the manufacturing process from eight stages to just four, thus further reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
The iFlex’s ability to deliver the perfect high-speed driving performance is the result of Hankook Tire’s longstanding commitment to independently developing progressive, innovative tire technology,” says Seung-Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO.
“Aiming to strengthen our technological leadership in the global tire market, we will continue to develop cutting edge eco-friendly and future-oriented tires.”
Hankook is based in Seoul, Korea, and produces tires for passenger cars, 4x4s, SUVs, light trucks, campers, trucks, buses and motorsport vehicles. It currently employs approximately 22,000 people around the world, and its products are available in over 180 countries.
For more information, visit the company's website at www.hankooktire.com/global.