Posted on: 29 July 2015Share
In the future, it may be the case that you no longer will need air for your tires. There are plenty of methods in development that aim to create tires that do not require the need for air. Although they number few and far between, there are certain tires on the market that are, indeed, airless. Despite the numerous advantages of airless tires, there are a few catches. Luckily, you have this article to inform you of the ins and outs of airless tires. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn what exactly airless tires are, what their advantages and disadvantages are, and finally, you will learn about their aggregate cost and overall availability.
What Are Airless Tires?
Essentially, airless tires are exactly what they sound like: tires that do not require the use of air to operate efficiently. They are occasionally referred to as non-pneumatic tires (NPTs). In normal tires some form of air pressure is utilized to correctly balance the weight of the tire and provide an adequate center of support to the wheel. This is not the case with airless tires. They are made out of a variety of different materials depending on what sort of vehicle or wheel they are supporting. Some are made out of a stretchy, polyurethane material, while others are made out of a hard plastic. They are available now for some small riding lawnmowers and tractors as well as some large, heavy grade work vehicles such as plows.
What Are The Benefits?
The first benefit that should be discussed is the most obvious: these tires do not require air to properly operate themselves and support a wheel or vehicle. You won't have to go about refilling these tires and you never have to worry about them popping. This makes them extremely heavy-duty. Although normal, pneumatic based tires are quite resilient, these bad boys are leaner and even meaner. They can withstand conditions that a normal tire wouldn't have the sand or stomach to tread. Speaking of tread, the tread on NPTs is usually quite thick; normally, it is much thicker and bears more girth than that of a normal tire.
What Are The Cons?
Despite the numerous upsides of NPTs, there are a variety of downsides as well. First and foremost, these tires do not offer the same amount of suspension support that normal tires do. There is also a problem with heat build up when these tires are driven on. While normal tires are able to release heat with relative ease, these tires tend to absorb heat, which can create a serious problem if you plan on using these tires for hours on end. As long as you are very careful with these tires, however, they should do quite well in supporting your needs.
Cost And Availability
Unfortunately, one of the biggest downside of airless tires is the fact that they are not regularly available. If you are looking for road ready tires that don't need air to function, you'll have to wait a bit longer, as these tires are generally only available for the vehicles that were previously mentioned towards the start of the article.
There are, however, plans to commercially release such tires for road ready vehicles. One company, for example, is planning on releasing a product that they have tentatively titled the "twheel" which combines the integrity of a wheel with the support you come to expect from a tire. No suggested retail prices have been set for such tires.
If you are sick of having to take your car into the auto repair shop to have your tires patched, filled or changed, just know that they are working on a solution for this very issue.
In the meantime check out sites like http://www.centralaveautobody.com when you're in need of a little auto repair.