Hankook introduces i-Flex airless wheel and tire

Hankook i-Flex 09.09.2013
Hankook i-Flex 09.09.2013

95 percent of construction is recyclable

Hankook will be showcasing at this year's IAA in Frankfurt an interesting concept of an airless wheel and tire all-in-one.

This new type of non-pneumatic tire is made from polyurethane synthetics with its tire being manufactured in conjunction with the rim as a one-piece. Hankook mentions it's considerably lighter than usual wheel + tire combos and does not need air at all. Fuel consumption and noise emissions are down compared to conventional setups, while vehicle safety is increased.

The i-Flex concept is being exhibited at IAA on a Volkswagen up! tuned by ABT with the tire specification 155/590 14 (155mm wide, 590mm diameter, 14-inch wheel size). According to Hankook, 95 percent of the i-Flex's construction is recyclable.

Source: Hankook

Hankook i-Flex: Tyres Reconceptualised at IAA 2013

Hankook i-Flex offers a look into the future of tyres, by driving on airless tyres.

Trend-setting tyre solutions for the demands of future-oriented mobility systems are taking centre stage at Hankook Tire’s presence at the Frankfurt International Auto Show 2013.

The optimisation of conventional vehicles with regard to tyres as well as studies for sustainable mobility that combine efficiency and eco-friendliness will be focal points.

In addition to premieres and innovations in the fields of green tires, performance, safety and premium original equipment, award-winning hybrids design-concepts as well as a new generation of airless, almost entirely recyclable tyres are further highlights on the Hankook Tire’s booth.

There is an increasing demand for innovative and smart solutions by suppliers to optimise vehicle efficiency within the automobile industry. In addition to safety and comfort, features like environmental-friendliness and sustainability are becoming ever more important.

Hankook i-Flex
A futuristic design concept, the Hankook i-Flex is an airless wheel and tyre, all in one.
Aiming to keep losses to a minimum when converting energy, Hankook Tire’s engineers have reconceptualised the automobile tyre. With the Hankook Tire’s i-Flex,the company presents the prototype of a non-pneumatic tire that will help increase the overall efficiency of vehicles thereby improving their energy balance.

With 95 percent of its construction being recyclable, the Hankook i-Flex is made from polyurethane synthetics, with the tyre manufactured in conjunction with its rim as one unit. It is considerably lighter than conventional wheel-tire combinations and does not require air like conventional pneumatic tyres, able to offer shock absorbency through the unique design. Fuel consumption and noise emissions are thus optimised while simultaneously increasing vehicle safety.

Displayed at the Frankfurt show on an ABT-tuned Volkswagen Up!, the Hankook i-Flex tyre specification is 155/590 14 (155mm wide, 590mm diameter, 14-inch ‘simulated’ wheel size).
Through Hankook Tire’s hands-on display and video guides, visitors to the Frankfurt show can alter the colours of the Hankook i-Flex.

At the 65th IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung), September 12-22, in Frankfurt, premium tyre manufacturer Hankook Tire will present its latest innovations, production-ready prototypes and trend-setting tire concepts designed to meet the demands of future mobility, in Hall 8, Stand 24.

About Hankook Tire
Hankook Tire is the leading and one of the fastest growing tyre companies in the world. As a tyre manufacturer dedicated to contribute to advancement in driving, Hankook Tire intensively invests in research and development via five R&D centres around the world. Applying the newest innovative technologies and solutions, it produces superior quality and high performance radial tyres for passenger cars, 4x4s, SUVs, light trucks, campers, trucks, buses and motorsports at its seven manufacturing facilities in four different countries. Hankook Tire currently employs approximately 20,000 people around the world, and its products are available worldwide in over 180 countries.

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Comments (10)

oziseb oziseb
Zero cooling to brakes though. The car with this fitted will need brake ducting to keep temps under control without melting the "rims"
Sep 10th, 2013 7:20am
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keithxp keithxp
This would bode well with covered wheels which can increase fuel efficiency/better aerodynamics.
Sep 9th, 2013 8:05pm
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Cale24 Cale24
Pretty cool. Cosmetics obviously secondary for now but as a piece of new technology, great.
Sep 9th, 2013 4:38pm
1 0
NYyanks NYyanks
What happened to the Twheel or Michellin airless tire?
Sep 9th, 2013 4:16pm
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CDspeed CDspeed
It would be nice to not worry about little punctures, but what would custom wheel manufacturers do if the tire company integrates the wheel into the tire? Car manufacturers could just contract with tire companies on design, but it might be hard for custom wheel manufacturers.
Sep 9th, 2013 4:01pm
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liquid stereo liquid stereo
If they're smart they'll figure out what to do :) Such is the pace of evolution in the marketplace that the non-responsive ones fall by the wayside. The big concern I have is the lobbying and governmental agencies that refuse to adapt or adopt new technologies/solutions.
Sep 9th, 2013 4:59pm
3 0
CDspeed CDspeed
Hmm, well said. Maybe Hankook has already thought of a few solutions and will present them later.
Sep 9th, 2013 11:35pm
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paiva paiva
When will people stop calling their products "i-whatever". No one bothers anymore to come up with proper name for anything? Jesus Christ!
Sep 9th, 2013 3:59pm
2 1
liquid stereo liquid stereo
Who cares? They can name it whatever they like. Let's supposed "i" refers to the integrated wheel-tire solution. Would that not be a "proper name"? (Who decides proper names, BTW?)
Sep 9th, 2013 5:01pm
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tomi.ro tomi.ro
this would've been very useful half a century ago for the moon rover :D
Sep 9th, 2013 3:36pm
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