Resilient Technologies and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Polymer Engineering Center are working together to perfect a “non-pneumatic tire” that will support excess armor weight, survive IED attacks and still be able to make a clean, 50 mph getaway when escaping enemy combat. The airless tire looks like a honeycomb encased with a thick tread for ground grip.
The four-year, $18 million project is in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense. Resilient pursued the development in response to the military’s need for an alternative to their current Humvee, which requires a small amount of air pressure for its tire, and if punctured can leave men stranded.
“The goal was to reduce the variation in the stiffness of the tire, to make it transmit loads uniformly and become more homogenous,” said mechanical engineering professor Tim Osswald. “And the best design, as nature gives it to us, is really the honeycomb.”
Soon, rims will no longer rep auto authority – “How big’s your honeycomb?” will be the new standard.