The University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Wausau, Wis., company have come up with a 37-inch, bullet and bomb-proof Humvee tire based on a polymeric web so cool looking there's no need for hub caps.
Resilient Technologies and Wisconsin-Madison's Polymer Engineering Center are creating a "non-pneumatic tire" (no air required) that will support the weight of add-on armor, survive an IED attack, and still make a 50 mph getaway. It's basically a round honeycomb wrapped with a thick, black tread.
The military wants an alternative to the current Humvee "run flat" tires, which despite the name, still need a minimal amount of air pressure to roll and can leave troops stranded after being shot or blown out.
This particular geometry also does a great job of reducing noise and heat levels while rolling-two common problems with past models.
Costs per tire are expected to be the same or less than current units. Delivery is anticipated for 2011.