Polyurethane Non-Pneumatic Tire Technology-Development and Testing History 900763
Alternatives to pneumatic tire technology have been sought since the early 1900s, but none have exhibited the ride quality and durability of pneumatic systems. As bias ply tires have been rapidly replaced by steel belted radial technology, the performance target continues to improve. A new technology is under development which utilizes a unique combination of materials and geometry that does not require pressurized air to support the vehicle load. This non-pneumatic tire technology, developed using finite element analysis, failure mode effects analysis, and elaborate material characterization, is not included under the current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and thus new standards must be written. The development of the tire technology and background testing for new safety standards will be reviewed in this paper. Benefits of this technology for spare tires as well as its potential for continuous use ground tires will also be discussed.