We’ve all seen movies, shows or played games where the protagonist’s awesome vehicle sports a set of death defying bullet proof tires. But is that really possible?
Well not exactly, but there are tire technologies that make it possible to drive on tires that have sustained serious damage and lost all their air pressure.
Can tires truly take the force a bullet and come out of the altercation in good working order? Well, it’s a question that fascinated us too so we looked to find out.
Can tires be bullet proof?
The answer is soft of… While you don’t have anything that we would classify as a genuine bulletproof tire that just deflected bullets away, we do have something called a run flat tire. These are a type of tire that is designed to keep the car moving even after sustaining heavy damage by resisting the effects of deflation.
Put simply, the tire can be punctured but doesn’t immediately deflate and lose it’s shape, allowing it to be driven on.
How do run flat tires work?
The technology behind run flat tires is actually pretty interesting. They feature a reinforced sidewall and an extra thick bead area. This design means that if the tire is punctured, it can still support the weight of the car and allow it to continue moving.
The driver will still need to replace the tire eventually, but they won’t be stranded on the side of the road.
Are run flat tires common?
Not really, at least not yet. They are slowly becoming more popular as people become more aware of their existence and what they can do, but they are still far from being the norm. They are also more expensive than regular tires, so that is another obstacle to their widespread adoption.
Are run flat tires repairable?
Surprisingly enough, run flat tires can actually be repaired just like regular tires. The sidewall just needs to be inspected to make sure that it is still in good condition and then the tire can be patched up and used again.
What are the benefits of bullet proof tires?
There are a few benefits to having bullet proof or run-flat tires. The most obvious one is that you can keep driving even after sustaining heavy damage. This can be a lifesaver in many situations, such as if you are stranded in a dangerous area or need to get away from a pursuer.
They also tend to be very durable and have a long lifespan, so you won’t need to replace them as often as regular tires.
Are bullet proof tires legal?
Yes, run flat tires are legal but they can be kinda pricey. While we’ve explained how they can be helpful in the case of a bullet puncturing the tire, generally they are intended for any puncture. So, if a nail on the road gets stuck in these tires, then they’ll continue to work.
Can I change run flat tyres with non-run flats?
This is probably not something you want to do. While you can technically put regular tires on a car that has run flats, it’s not advisable. The two types of tires are designed to work together and switching out one for the other can cause problems.
For example, regular tires may not be able to handle the weight of the car as well as run flats. This could lead to increased wear and tear or even a blowout.
It’s also worth noting that not all cars can use run flat tires. Some simply aren’t compatible with the technology. So, if you’re thinking about getting a set of bullet proof tires, make sure to do your research first and see if they are an option for your car.
Do police have bullet proof tires?
Depending on the part of the country, the police will have plenty of equipment to protect them from potential damage. However, it is not standard procedure for the police to have run flat tires. Some will almost certainly have them but they will be in the minority.
The future of bullet proof tires
As mentioned before, there isn’t a true bullet proof tire, but there are alternatives to the basic run flat tire that are being trialed.
While run flat are the only real option on the market that’s widely in use today, there are concepts and prototypes that are being tested and may be in production soon.
Airless tires are likely to be the next big leap forward in tire technology. These are tires that don’t need air to function and are instead supported by a network of spokes. This would make them virtually puncture proof and incredibly durable.
Self inflating tires
Self inflating tires are another new type of tire that is currently being developed. These tires would be able to seal themselves in the event of a puncture and then inflate back up to the correct pressure, all without the driver having to do anything.
This would be a huge step forward for run flat tires and could make them much more practical for everyday use. There are already systems in some off-road cars that allow the driver to inflate and deflate the tires from inside the cabin at the press of a button.
Support ring system tires
The supporting ring system is another way that tires can be a little more bullet resistant. This involves having a ring of metal or another material that sits around the outside of the tire.
This ring would support the weight of the car if the tire was punctured, preventing it from collapsing and allowing the driver to continue on their journey.
While we don’t have a true, action movie style bullet proof tire just yet, it’s only a matter of time before we do. The technology is there and it’s only getting better. So, if you’re in the market for a new set of tires, keep an eye out for these groundbreaking products. They may just be what you’ve been looking for.
What to do now
While we haven’t quite reached the level of Hollywood style bullet proof tires, we are certainly getting there. Right now the main alternative is run flat tires, but as technology improves, we are likely to see even better options in the near future.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!