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Resilient Technologies' Non Pneumatic Tire
Resilient Technologies’ Non Pneumatic Tire

Tires are akin to that old nursery rhyme that begins with “For want of a nail the shoe was lost” and ends with “For want of a battle the kingdom was lost“. Working tires mean the difference between a successful mission and one that goes bust, along with all the repercussions.

Now, a new type of an airless tire might make a real difference. The recently unveiled tire may soon be used by security forces in the US and worldwide.

The feasibility of the new bullet proof tire was first showcased a few years ago – but now, it nears wide use by military and security forces.

The new tire was jointly developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a local company based in nearby Wausau. The team came up with a 37-inch, bullet proof Humvee tire based on a polymeric web. It’s so cool looking, there’s no need for hub caps.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory awarded a four-year contract to Resilient Technologies and Wisconsin-Madison’s Polymer Engineering Center to continue the development and testing of the NPT – “non-pneumatic tire” (no air required).

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This tire is designed to support the weight of add-on armor, survive an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attack, and still make a 50 mph getaway. It is basically a round honeycomb wrapped with a thick, black tread.

The military wants an alternative to the current Humvee “run flat” tires, which despite their name, still need a minimal amount of air pressure to roll. These tires might still leave troops stranded after being shot at or blown out.

The patent-pending design mimics the precise, six-sided cell pattern found in a honeycomb. According to the developers, it best duplicates the “ride feel” of pneumatic tires

Resilient Technologies' Non Pneumatic Tire on a pick up truck

This particular geometry also does a great job of reducing noise and heat levels while rolling-two common problems with past models.

Also, costs per tire are expected to be the same as current units – or even less.

The new tire is attracting great attention from security forces that are using armored vehicles to get to the “Action zone”.