Tyres of the not-so-dis­tant fu­ture

Tests have been com­pleted for Hankook’s non-pneu­matic tyre, and it passed with full marks

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

SEOUL (Korea) — Hankook Tyre an­nounced re­cently that it has suc­cess­fully com­pleted its ride and han­dling tests for its latest non-pneu­matic tyre (NPT) Hankook iFlex, which is made us­ing eco-friendly ma­te­ri­als.

The iFlex is the latest ex­am­ple of Hankook Tyre’s con­tin­ued tech­nol­ogy lead­er­ship. The com­pany’s abil­ity to push the bound­aries of driv­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties is a di­rect re­sult of its foun­da­tion in re­search and de­vel­op­ment.

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

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

Con­struc­tion of the iFlex is cen­tred on a new type of uni-ma­te­rial de­signed to max­imise the tyre’s eco-friendly po­ten­tial. From a man­u­fac­tur­ing stand­point, the ma­te­rial used dur­ing con­struc­tion sig­nif­i­cantly en­hances the energy ef­fi­ciency. From a prod­uct stand­point, the ma­te­rial al­lows the iFlex to be re­cy­cled with greater ease. Hankook Tyre then went one step fur­ther, in­te­grat­ing new tyre 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 Tyre’s long­stand­ing com­mit­ment to in­de­pen­dently de­vel­op­ing pro­gres­sive, in­no­va­tive tyre tech­nol­ogy. Aim­ing to strengthen our tech­no­log­i­cal lead­er­ship in the global tyre mar­ket, we will con­tinue to de­velop cut­ting-edge eco-friendly and fu­ture-ori­ented tyres” said Se­ungHwa Suh, vice chair­per­son and CEO of Hankook Tyre.

Hankook Tyre now has a num­ber of projects un­der way that are cen­tred on fu­ture-ori­ented tyre prod­ucts. For ex­am­ple, The Next Driv­ing Lab, a cam­paign that started in 2013, is op­er­ated to let tal­ented engi­neers and de­sign­ers bring to life their wildest dreams for in­no­va­tive driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. Like­wise, Hankook Tyre col­lab­o­rates ev­ery two years with world-renowned de­sign schools to host the De­sign In­no­va­tion pro­ject, which al­lows stu­dents to pro­pose and study fu­ture tyre con­cepts de­signed at gen­er­at­ing safer, more re­li­able and more ad­vanced tyre per­for­mances.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.