NASA has developed the ‘superelastic tire’, a game changing compliant tire as a viable alternative to the pneumatic tire. created with future mars missions in mind, the tires could be used also here on earth. evolving from the ‘spring tire’ – invented by NASA glenn and goodyear – and referencing the ‘apollo lunar tires’, the tire uses shape memory alloys that are capable of undergoing high strain as load bearing components.

NASA superelastic tire, a viable alternative to the pneumatic one designboom
the superelastic tire was created with future mars missions in mind
all images courtesy of NASA

 

 

innovators at NASA’s glenn research center have changed the typical elastic pneumatic materials into memory alloys that are capable of undergoing significant reversible strain. this enables the superelastic tire to withstand more deformation than any other non-pneumatic tire while providing enhanced control and increased design versatility.

NASA superelastic tire, a viable alternative to the pneumatic one designboom
it evolves from the ‘spring tire’ – invented by NASA glenn and goodyear – and references the ‘apollo lunar tires’

 

 

‘for instance, the glenn superelastic tire can be made to soften with increased deflection, reducing the amount of energy transferred to the vehicle during high reformative events,’ comments the NASA glenn research center. ‘in addition, the use of shape memory alloys in the form of radial stiffeners, as opposed to springs, provides even more load carrying potential and improved design flexibility. this type of compliant tire would allow for increased travel speeds in off-road applications.’

NASA superelastic tire, a viable alternative to the pneumatic one designboom
the tire uses shape memory alloys that are capable of undergoing high strain as load bearing components

 

  • A nice concept for dry and firm surfaces. But, how would the mesh “tire” fare in sandy, wet, muddy terrain? I can see the mesh collecting particulate materials inside of the “tire” and becoming very heavy and “bogged down” and sinking the vehicle up to it’s axils…. And/or collecting natural fibers, wet clay-like materials that could then dry and become chunks trapped inside.like bricks!

    Robert Hubany says:

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