HoneyComb Tire Design

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? These special tires 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.

"The goal was to reduce the variation in the stiffness of the tire, to make it transmit loads uniformly and become more homogenous," said mechanical engineering professor Tim Osswald. "And the best design, as nature gives it to us, is really the honeycomb."

The question here is … how long before they find their way to the streets?

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