Redesigning the Wheel

For 130 long years we’ve moved on wheels that have air filled inside. These are called pneumatic tires and they come with a lot of hassle just because they need to be filled with air. You have to keep checking them if they have enough air, they can get flat and cause a big headache, even a bad accident sometimes and what not. Some time back people thought they could change this. That was when the NPT or non-pneumatic tires came into picture.

At first they were seen on military hummer vehicles and now are slowly becoming mainstream. Michelin now offers a tire called tweel that can be used for slow moving vehicles like those used in agriculture. They need not make sharp and fast turns and don’t care much about speed. So Tweel works.

Hankook however started to dream of NPT tires for vehicles on the road. A concept of their tire from some time back looked like this.

Hankook has apparently found a way to make their manufacturing process scalable. That means there’ll be lesser steps involved in their manufacturing and that signals these tires could soon come to road.23

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