HYOGO, Japan — Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has unveiled a version of a non-pneumatic tire, dubbed "noair," that it indicated could be a prelude to a commercially viable product.
Toyo said the noair concept, which is based on an airless prototype it unveiled in 2012, uses "high-rigidity resin" spokes to support the load.
The Japanese tire company also said it is considering shifting its efforts on this front from the laboratory-level to a market perspective, reflecting "substantial improvements" it has made in the product's technology as well as growing market acceptance for such products.
Toyo said key improvements over earlier prototypes are in the areas of rolling resistance and noise reduction.
The tire's basic structure features an X-shaped spoke configuration, Toyo said, which differs from the earlier prototypes' elliptical spoke configuration.