ERJ staff report (DS)
YouTube, Cyberspace -- In a Japanese-language video posted on YouTube, a Yokohama Tire engineer outlines the company's design ideas on tyres. One of these is a concept tyre which relies on mechanical support, rather than pneumatic support for the load.
The 6-minute video is designed to tie in with a 'Good Design' Expo, which took place at the end of August in Tokyo's Big Sight exhibition halls. The video features the exhibits on the company' stand at the event. Featured products include the BluEarth1 and the company's 'Nature Design' approach. This includes a series of tread patterns inspired by leaves, honeycomb, fingerprints, leaves and other natural shapes and concepts.
One such, at 5 minutes 48, shows a non-pneumatic tyre, reminiscent of Michelin's Airless/Tweel concept, in which the tread area of the tyre is linked to the bead area by a series of mechanical ribs, rather than a conventional sidewall construction. The Yokohama design takes the previous concept further, by allowing the tread pattern to penetrate through the tread rubber, permitting water to evacuate not only in the plane of the road, but radially upwards toward the centre of the wheel. No further details were available as we went to press.
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YouTube video from Yokohama