TOKYO (Dec. 1, 1 p.m. ET) — Bridgestone Corp. has developed a prototype non-pneumatic car tire, which uses thermoplastic ribs as load-bearing elements, that the company will debut at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show.
The tire reflects the style of design shown initially by Michelin nearly seven years ago and more recently by Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. Bridgestone's design, however, has a deeper structure of plastic ribs than either of the other two approaches, and it has a higher aspect ratio.
Bridgestone said it is using thermoplastic ribs because that material is easier to recycle than the thermoset rubber used in conventional tires. Even the tread on the prototype is made from a thermoplastic material, extending further the concept of recyclability, Bridgestone said.
The company said the concept offers comfort and performance suitable for golf buggies and similar vehicles. It said it will develop the products further and said it aims “as soon as possible” to bring the concept to the automotive tire market.