NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 18, 2000)—Bridgestone Corp. and Tokyo-based Topy Industries have announced the development of a prototype wheel for automobiles that contains a layer of rubber between the rim and the hub.
Bridgestone, the parent company of Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and Bridgestone/Firestone Europe, said this new wheel design will provide a quieter, more comfortable ride and improved vehicle handling.
This special rubber layer reduces the amount of vibration and the tug on steering encountered as the wheel rolls over ruts and other imperfections in the pavement, Bridgestone said. On conventional wheels the rim and hub are welded together and noise and vibration are transmitted more directly from the wheel to the body of the auto.
Bridgestone said another possible application for this new wheel is for use with tires with low rolling resistance. This combination could provide improved fuel economy while maintaining a comfortable ride.
Topy´s expertise in wheel engineering and Bridgestone´s experience with vibration control and bonding rubber to metal combined to produce the prototype wheel. The two companies will continue to work together to develop a commercial version of this wheel and will explore other tire-wheel systems to enhance performance. &Copy;