Super Morphing Tire Design

A new tire concept called Maxplo by Kumho could eliminate the need to change your tires seasonally as Maxplo is designed to alter its shape depending on the weather, intelligently morphing itself into different formations to in order to deal conditions ranging from wet and muddy to snowy and icy.

Tires are an essential part of a vehicle, forming the point of contact between the vehicle itself and the road it is driving on. To deal with ever changing outdoor conditions, different tires are needed for different weather conditions – snow tires to deal with winter weather being a typical example.

In  super rainy conditions, Maxplo is able to pump water away from a contact patch situated between the tire and the road in order to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. In the snow, the tire has a series of spikes hidden beneth the tread blocks. And when heading off road or into rough gravel conditions, large intersectional tread blocks making up the surface of the tire move apart, broadening the tire’s surface area in order to improve traction.

The placement of the grooves making up Maxplo’s surface is more than just cool looking aesthetic. The design team used computer simulations to check the performance of the pattern in varying environments.  Each tire prototype measures 700 x 700 x 250 mm (27.5 x 27.5 x 9.8 in) and weighs 12 kg (26.4 lb).

But don’t look for the tires in stores yet. Kumho believe this tire’s design concepts will make their way into tire design over several years at least, with the aim of one day offering smart tires to consumers.

Source: Kumho, A’ Design Awards

Article by Els Zijlstra