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‘Airless, Puncture-Proof Wheels’ Get Rid Of Flat-Tire Woes
By Anthea Quay, 01 Nov 2012
Colorado-based Britek Tire and Rubber has developed puncture-proof tires that eliminate the need for air.
Called ‘Energy Return Wheel’ (ERW), the wheels not only prevent flats, but also improve performance and fuel efficiency for cars.
Instead of air, the ERW has a layer of rubber at the center, stretched and held by adjustable rods that provide cushioning.
Users can also adjust the rubber tension in the rods to make the wheels run harder or softer, to suit different terrain types.
Brian Russell, Britek founder, told Gizmag that the stretching of the internal rubber layer “allows elastic potential energy to be stored within the wheel”.
“As that layer is compressed by bumps transmitted from the road, the stored energy is supposedly returned (hence the name) and converted into forward momentum. It is also said to press the treat onto the road instead of allowing it to bounce off, as it sometimes the case with pneumatic tires,” Gizmag wrote.
Russell is also considering implementing a thin sidewall to the wheel, to keep mud and trail debris from accumulating, for a more consistent ride.
Could this be the future of bicycle and car tires?
[via Energy Return Wheel]
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