NASA researchers have developed a near indestructible airless tire that could be used on future missions to Mars or the lunar surface, and its titanium-based design uses shape memory alloys capable of undergoing high strain as load bearing components. That’s right, the normal pneumatic materials have been replaced with memory alloys that can withstand significant reversible strain, thus providing enhanced control and increased design versatility. Continue reading for two more videos and information.
“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. 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,” according to NASA.