Honeycomb tire design solves roadside hazard problems for G.I. Joe

by James

Several of the many upgrades that Humvees are getting in Iraq to protect against ambush include thicker armor plating and new honeycomb tires which are bullet proof and will keep the humvee rolling when it’s been ambushed in a firefight or even an I.E.D. What’s the secret? It doesn’t use air.

The Honeycombs are based on a polymeric web which will not only take bullet fire, but also explosions from an improvised explosive device and still let our boys in cammy get away at over 50 miles an hour. Most injuries and deaths occur, not because of the initial IED blast – armor can take most of that blunt force trauma – but because the tires have been blown out. And even though current tire design calls for a “run while flat” specification, there’s little a tire can do when the air has been ripped out of the tire by shrapnel. Seems run while flat tires still need small amounts of air still in them. But the Honeycomb’s don’t, according to their manufacturer, Resilient Technologies.
After studying every rwf tire on the market, and tires ripped to shreds in theater, Resilient went to mother nature for the answer and came up with a six-sided cell pattern honeycomb design that can best Emulate the “ride feel” of pneumatic tires, while allowing shrapnel to simply pass through the open spaces. What you end up with is a tire that is not only more robust and durable, but also runs quieter and cooler than current models. And Resilient is confident they can bring the tire, expected to be added to the Humvee design in 2011, to the Army for the same or even less a cost as current tires.

My question is … how long before they find their way to Detroit?

Hat Tip – C’Net

9 reviews or comments

John Brown Says: November 28, 2008 at 6:46 pm

I’ve served two tours in Iraq (Active Army) and I promise you that new tires aren’t going to solve anything. Why?! Because while vehicle armor currently being used can withstand an IED blast EFP’s are the new threat. After a wheeled or tracked vehicle gets turned inside out there isn’t much chance of it driving away, is there?


SGT Brown

Michael Gaudet Says: November 28, 2008 at 11:47 pm

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing as I was reading the description of the honeycomb tire, how long till it reaches Detroit? In a lot of cases the military precedes civilian in design that ends up the common denominator. This is really a great idea for general use, as it virtually eliminates the hazard of high-speed blow-outs, flat tires in general. I imagine the honeycomb construction nicely mimics the feel of inflation with the equally-distributed road stresses. Kudos to this development!

D Says: November 30, 2008 at 3:52 pm

What a wonderful idea. This will revolutionize the tire industry and hopefully will reduce the price of tires. I hope this or a prototype will make its way to the mainstream soon.

Worcester Says: December 2, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Actually, it seems like I saw these demonstrated on a bicycle or similar human powered vehicle some years back.

Perhaps I can find it on youtube.

Anyway, a great concept none the less. Wonder why it would take 2+ years to put them into production, though. Seems like the military should be able to get them sooner.

Pete Says: December 3, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Airless ties have been around for awhile there called “tweels” But Im not really not sure what makes these any different then the ones made by Michelin

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