In 2019, Michelin grabbed people’s attention with the announcement that it would be bringing airless tires to market by the year 2024. The company is hardly the only one in the tire industry, though, looking to change the game by ditching air in its products.
South Korean tire manufacturer Hankook unveiled an airless tire concept of its own during the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The concept claims to offer better performance and safety compared with its conventional counterparts.
Dubbed the i-Flex tire, Hankook says its concept’s biomimetic design (meaning it’s turned to nature for this build) offers more security by eliminating the risk of punctures and the need for air-pressure maintenance.
The appearance you see here was inspired by the cells of living organisms—a “multilayer interlocking spoke” design that features hexagonal and tetragonal structures that absorb road imperfections and provide improved stability and load support.
No word, though, regarding Hankook ’s plans to bring the i-Flex to market. Considering the brand says it will continue to work on improving the i-Flex, we reckon the company does have plans to go airless, but perhaps not in the immediate future.
So, do you think all tire products will eventually go airless? Let us know your prediction in the comments.
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