Hankook Shows Off iFlex Tires with No Air
16 July 2015 - Autoblog
The promise of a tire that never needs air but still affordably offers a long period of usefulness on the road is the dream of many commuters. It's also a problem that companies are still trying to crack with some slow progress.
For example, the Michelin Tweel is in production for commercial applications, and Polaris offers the TerrainArmor on an ATV. Hankook and its iFlex non-pneumatic tire concept is the latest attempt to bring the technology a little closer towards production for cars.
Hankook believes that the iFlex non-pneumatic tires can do everything a traditional one can. Unfortunately, the company isn't going into too many specifics about how everything works at this time. The prototype reportedly completed successful tests of its ride, handling, and high-speed driving abilities, though.
The Korean tire maker has been trying to make the non-pneumatic tire concept work well on passenger vehicles for years. The iFlex was actually the company's fifth prototype for the idea, and one major change for the latest one was a switch to a more environmentally friendly construction material. The change meant production was less energy intensive and recycling was easier. Hankook was also able to cut manufacturing down to four steps, rather than eight before. However, the business isn't saying if actual mass production of a consumer version is on the way anytime soon.