A tire that cannot burst or become flat. Sure. They had those back in the early days of motoring – in the late 1800s – when wheels were made of wood or steel.
Then, in 1887, John Boyd Dunlop made the first practical pneumatic tire for his son’s bicycle. Lots of rubber and a fair amount of nylon tied off a bit of air and motorists all over the world could take on the rough roads without clattering teeth. Except for when they had to get out in the cold to fix a puncture.
Move forward a few decades. To 2005, in fact, when Michelin introduced the Tweel, a tire that cannot burst or become flat. In any weather.
“The Tweel’s hub connects to flexible polyurethane spokes which are used to support an outer rim and assume the shock-absorbing role of a traditional tire’s pneumatic properties,” re Wikipedia.
Michelin expects the Tweel to last a number of times longer than a conventional tire.
One thing’s for sure: the Tweel looks like business. But don’t put away your denture adhesive yet. Many miles still have to go into Tweel research to get rid of … you guessed it … vibrations.
Get inside the spokes of the Tweel with a technical explanation of all this Tweel technical stuff at howstuffworks.