NASA Invents Tires That Never Go Flat

Posted: Nov 29 2017, 5:54am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
NASA Invents Tires That Never Go Flat
The use of shape memory alloy in radial stiffeners provides even more load carrying potential. Credit: NASA

NASA has Come Up with a Novel Type of Wheel that Never Punctures

NASA technicians in Cleveland have managed to invent a woven mesh metal wheel that has form memory. So no matter how much wear and tear it takes, it ultimately resumes its original shape with ease. The aim was to create such wheels which could survive the inhospitable Martian environment.

A trip to Mars is the immediate goal of NASA in the upcoming years. The current Mars Curiosity Rover is facing problems with regards to its tires. The engineers at NASA worked with various different materials and finally came up with this exciting wheel which is versatile to boot.

The wheel is made of a nickel-titanium alloy instead of steel. The reversion to its original type takes place at the atomic level which is indeed a modern-day scientific miracle. This material shows that it is a memory alloy. The wheel is not meant for employment on earth. It will prove useful on Mars.

Yet the technology which helped engender this special wheel could come in handy in various industries on earth. The work on the wheel proves that new alloys could lend a number of unique properties to this indispensable spare part.

Human beings are getting restless. Going to the moon is old hat by now. Today humanity has set its eyes on the Red Planet or Mars. To use tires that do not puncture on its surface will be a novel experience.

Especially Elon Musk has plans to put half of humanity on Mars by building self-sustainable colonies and domed cities on its cold surface. Meanwhile, Michelin which is a renowned tire-manufacturing company, wants to use 3D printed tires in its repertoire.

Normally the phrase “reinventing the wheel” means useless tinkering since the wheel is supposed to be an invention which cannot be improved upon at all. Yet here too scientists have proven this dictum to be wrong.

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