The Self-Supporting Tire: A New Concept In Vehicle Mobility 770349
Elimination of the spare tire has long been a goal of the automotive industry. Providing vehicle mobility with only four tires, however, has been a very complex product design assignment for the tire industry.
The four-tire system must be designed to perform satisfactorily in both the inflated and the uninflated modes, thus creating a whole new matrix of design/performance relationships. In developing such a totally-new tire/wheel system, testing procedures must be developed to evaluate design concepts, screen materials and establish product performance levels.
This paper traces the evolution of a new tire system requiring only two components: a modified one-piece rim, and a specially-designed tire which structurally supports itself at zero inflation pressure. This paper also describes testing procedures during the program to screen design concepts and establish product performance levels.