first_imgCan you imagine a world where your tires don’t require air and can be easily recycled? South Korean company Hankook can, and they’re showing off what that might look like in the future.The idea of a flexible tire without air isn’t new, but it also hasn’t been able to make it to the shelves of your local auto store yet. It’s a great idea in theory, and there’s not a motorist on the road today that wouldn’t love knowing that they won’t be stranded on the side of the road with a flat ever again. But so far all we’ve got are concepts.Hankook’s concept is called i-Flex, and it works by filling the inside of the tire with a web of recyclable material that is still capable of flexing in the same way an air-filled tire flexes when on the road. This geometric pattern replaces the need for air in the tire, and behaves as an integrated suspension by distributing energy from impacts across the tire evenly.Hankook is showing off the design at the 65th Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung in Frankfurt, without any expectation for delivery on this concept. The design is certainly intriguing, as is the notion that the user could have their choice of color in the exposed pattern areas on the i-Flex.The highly recyclable nature of the design and the absence of air alone are enough to excite just about anyone, but to be able to customize the design as well could quickly make these tires incredibly popular. They just have to make it to the shelves first.last_img

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