Bridgestone Corp. unveiled a non-pneumatic (airless) concept tire at the Tokyo Motor Show, Nov. 30-Dec.11, 2011. The company says the tire could prove to be a viable and more environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional tires in the future.
Bridgestone’s Environmental Mission Statement outlines the company’s goal to help contribute to a more sustainable society, with particular emphasis on three areas – ecological conservation, resource conservation and reduction of carbon emissions. In support of the mission,
Bridgestone is working on various projects, like the non-pneumatic tire, that will ultimately contribute to a healthier environment for not just current, but also future generations. Non-pneumatic tires have a lesser impact on the environment than today’s conventional tires, but previously such concept tires have been impractical to produce for the mass market.
With a unique structure of spokes stretching along the inner sides of the tires supporting the weight of the vehicle, there is no need to periodically refill the tires with air, meaning that the tires require less maintenance.
The puncture-proof tires have a spoke structure made from reusable thermoplastic resin. The materials used in the tires are 100% recyclable. Bridgestone is pursuing this technological development with the aim of achieving a “cradle to cradle” process that proactively maximizes the cyclical use of resources from worn tires into new tires and the use of recyclable resources.