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Hankook Tire’s Future-oriented Tire Succeeds High-speed Driving without Air Pressure

• Hankook Tire aims to create future driving experiences through proven technology leadership propelled by continuous R&D investments

July 13, 2015 (Seoul, Korea) – Hankook Tire announced that it had successfully completed its ride and handling tests for its latest non-pneumatic tire (NPT) Hankook iFlex, which is made using eco-friendly materials.

The iFlex is the latest example of Hankook Tire’s continued technology leadership. The company’s ability to push the boundaries of driving capabilities is a direct result of its robust foundation in R&D as well as the following world-class technological prowess.

As the name suggests, NPTs do not require air pressure. Hankook Tire has continued researching on the new tire technologies particularly for NPT since 2011. Crucially, the company has been working toward the development of NPTs that achieve all of the practical benefits of conventional air pressure tires while simultaneously enhancing their high speed tire characteristics. The iFlex, which is the fifth NPT concept tire that Hankook Tire has released, is the culmination of that effort.

The company put the iFlex through a serious of rigorous tests designed to push the tires to their limits in five categories: durability, hardness, stability, slalom (zigzag) and speed. In the speed test, the electric car equipped with iFlex tires reached 130km/h. The impressive results in all five categories demonstrated that the NPTs could match conventional tires in terms of performance. At the same time, these results are expected to help the company solidify its position as a global top-tier tire company and, give new momentum to its future-oriented R&D capabilities.

Construction of the iFlex is centered on a new type of uni-material designed to maximize the tire’s eco-friendly potential. From a manufacturing standpoint, the material used during product construction significantly enhances the energy efficiency. From a product standpoint, the material allows the iFlex to be recycled with greater ease. Hankook Tire then went one step further, integrating new tire construction techniques to simplify the manufacturing process from eight stages to just four, thus further reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

“The Hankook iFlex’s ability to deliver the perfect high-speed driving performance is the result of Hankook Tire’s longstanding commitment to independently developing progressive, innovative tire technology. Aiming to strengthen our technological leadership in the global tire market, we will continue to develop cutting edge eco-friendly and future-oriented tires” says Mr. Seung-Hwa Suh, Vice Chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire.

Hankook Tire currently has a number of projects underway that are centered on developing future-oriented tire products. For example, ‘The Next Driving Lab,’ a brand campaign that was initiated in 2013, is operated primarily to let talented engineers and designers bring to life their wildest futuristic dreams for innovative driving experiences. Likewise, Hankook Tire collaborates every two years with world-renowned design schools to host the ‘Design Innovation’ project. This project allows students to propose and study future tire concepts designed at generating safer, more reliable, and more advanced tire performances.
 

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Wonder how much and how long do they last
 

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It seems we've come almost full circle with regards to automotive tires. The first automobiles primarily ran solid rubber tires.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same" - Jean -Baptise Alphonse Karr
 

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I'm disappointed that Michelin didn't go forward with this design. The Tweel.

new-michelin.jpg

 

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Polaris makes an ATV tire that is very similar. The downsides were that is was HEAVY and a stiff ride:

 

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The thing that worries me is that they state these could match conventional tire performance, not exceed it. Which basically states for those who care a conventional tire is still the best way to go. The only advantage I've seen this far with tires like these are that they don't require air.
 

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These will be the ZAV (zombie apocalypse vehicle) tire of choice. Don't have to worry about getting a flat in the middle of an escape and don't have to worry about finding an air compressor and generator to keep the tires inflated. =)
 

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One other thought, are these intended to be regular use tires or spares?

I keep reading these tires are good up to around 80mph or so.

Definitely not a performance tire.
 

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These will be the ZAV (zombie apocalypse vehicle) tire of choice. Don't have to worry about getting a flat in the middle of an escape and don't have to worry about finding an air compressor and generator to keep the tires inflated. =)
Back in my day we had these hand and foot operated devices for keeping the right amount of air in the tires... think they were called air pumps. LOL
 

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The colors are pretty awful, I can see all of the ricers riding around with bright orange, hot pink and yellow tires
 
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