Hankook pumps up puncture-proof tech with new i-Flex tyres
One of the holy grails of motoring is the prospect of puncture-proof tyres that never need to be filled with air.
Korean tyre company Hankook showed the latest version of its non-pneumatic i-Flex prototype tyre at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, US.
Instead of being filled with compressed air like regular tyres, the i-Flex is connected to the rim via multilayer flexible spokes.
In addition to being immune to punctures and the accidents they can cause, Hankook says the airless tyres are low maintenance, with no need for air pressure maintenance.
The i-Flex is a 10-inch tyre with a width of 105mm, and to absorb road shocks and bear a load, it adopts the design of a multilayer interlocking spoke inspired by the cellular structure of living organisms.
Hankook has not said when the i-Flex tyre might be available to buy, stating that it was continuing research and development for further improvement.
Michelin and Goodyear are also working on puncture-proof airless tyres.
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