July 11, 2008, Newsletter Issue #97: What Are Morphing Tires?

Tip of the Week

New tire technology focuses on several areas, but one of the main challenges will always be traction; how to increase it and improve the ride? One innovation found on the Mazda RX-9 includes a tire that is capable of morphing to adapt to traction needs. The tire includes electroactive polymers. With these, pulses from the vehicle's electrical system can change the size and depth of the tire treads! It's an amazing leap forward in tire tech. This new tire technology may not be coming to a vendor near you for a while, but time will tell; if it winds up being a cost effective solution to the traction problem, electroactive polymers could one day be a standard part of tire manufacturing the way steel belted radials became standard after they caught on in the marketplace.

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