Car (South Africa) - - FEATURE -

Imag­ine hav­ing to de­velop tyres for a ve­hi­cle to be used in outer space. The chal­leng­ing list of re­quire­ments would in­clude such tyres be­ing as light and strong as pos­si­ble, re­sis­tant to punc­tures and ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing good trac­tion in all en­vi­ron­ments and tem­per­a­tures. Nasa is rein­vent­ing the lu­nar wheel with a new air­less spring tyre us­ing nickel ti­ta­nium as the metal. Al­though spring tyres have been used be­fore on lu­nar ve­hi­cles, they have strug­gled with struc­tural de­for­ma­tion un­der se­vere pun­ish­ment. The so­lu­tion is a new ma­te­rial known as mem­ory-shape al­loy ca­pa­ble of re­turn­ing to its orig­i­nal form af­ter great de­for­ma­tion. Who knows, some­day this sort of tyre could be­come an op­tion for your SUV?

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