Student researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Polymer Engineering Center in the USA have partnered with a military research company, Resilient Technologies to create an airless tyre. These are tyres which cannot go flat and do not rely on air pressure. When used in live military exchange these tires can withstand blasts of sharpnel, bullets and other explosives while retaining its function.
“In military combat, vehicle tyres are critical, as blown tires can mean troops are stranded in dangerous situations. Wausau, Wisconsin-based Resilient Technologies is working on a non-pneumatic tire with a honeycomb-like design, which can’t be shot out and could save lives”
Though its purpose is for warfare, I see a different use for these tyres. If used in the agricultural sector no longer do is there a need for a well developed access road.
No matter how terrible a ‘farm’ road can be, a vehicle with such tyres will have no problem traversing it. Its use can be especially beneficial on the terrain of many Caribbean countries that by nature restrict the use of the majority of mechanical devices.
For example, a major problem of the hillside farming of bananas is that it requires intensive manual labour. The use of a cart/tray either manually or mechanically operated that can move freely within the valleys of such a terrain followed by its immediate transition onto main infrastructural roads.
As far as I can see this tyre has no need for replacement. Seemingly no terrain can puncture it. It might be made for another industry all together but clearly it can be used for agriculture.
See this invention in action! View videos at the website of the company which created them! There are other types of airless tyres out there. See if you find them. Give your opinion. Do you see another use for this technology in agriculture?