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Grind Tire

The Grind Tire is an innovative car tire that uses Nike Grind rubber and a foam interior which helps prevent flat tires and tire bursts.

Photo of Andrew
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While rubber tires have been used for transportation for more than a century, tires have not seen any industry-changing aesthetic and technological developments. Using Nike Grind materials, the Grind Tire is a reconsideration of the common tire.

Processed rubber granulate will make up the exterior of the tire, and all the different parts of EVA foam will fill the inside. Because EVA has a good toughness and stress-crack resistance, the Grind Tire will not be affected by tears from small sharp objects such as glass and nails. The Grind Tire does not use air, so dangerous tire bursts are impossible.

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

Rubber Granulate will be reformed into the outer layer of the tire. The texture and toughness will allow high friction and durability, qualities that a car tire must have.

EVA Foam (Injection Scraps, Flashings, Sheets and Blocks, Components) will be melted down and inserted into the rubber granulate layer. When the foam is hardened, beneficial properties include low-temperature toughness, stress-crack resistance, hot-melt adhesive waterproof properties, and resistance to UV radiation.

The concept for the process of turning these materials into the Grind Tire can be broken down into two main parts: the outer layer and the filling. The actual tire is composed of the rubber granulate, but because the rubber is already vulcanized, the rubber will be unable to melt in normal conditions. By freezing the rubber pieces at extremely low temperatures, the rubber granulates can be crushed into finer rubber powder that can be mixed with pure rubber. While this is not an uncommon practice in industry, the rubber powder can contain impurities that make it unsuitable for direct molding; however, the EVA foam filling is an important part that can allow the rubber granulate powder to be used as a main component without causing mechanical failure for the Grind Tire. The EVA foam can be melted down and mixed with adhesives. Once the foam is mixed, the tire is placed around the vehicle's wheel and a hot-melt gun inserts the EVA foam mixture into the tire. The cooled EVA foam mixture sticks to the rubber granulate structure, resists the absorption of water, insulates heat and acoustics, and absorbs vibrations and impacts of the vehicle. Perhaps the greatest of these, the cooled EVA foam is solid which means that there is no air that can leak. Grind Tires can be pierced by small objects such as nails, rocks, and glass without a detrimental end.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

These visual representations were created using SolidWorks.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

The total amount of sales in car tires is over 30 billion U.S. dollars. Everyone with a car requires tires, so the market is considerably large. The unique colors from the rubber granulate and tear-preventive EVA foam filling causes the Grind Tire to be an attractive choice for those who value aesthetics and safety.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

How is your idea innovative?

There are two major innovations in aesthetic and function. For aesthetic innovation, the rubber granulates allow the tire to have different colors that can pair with the vehicle to create unique colorways. For functional innovation, the EVA foam filling prevents the tire from rupturing when small sharp objects pierce the Grind Tire.

What inspired this idea?

I started by asking myself, "What is an industry that could best utilize rubber and foam materials?" Simultaneously, I was walking on the street and noticed my university's bus service. I looked at the massive wheels then realized that I had found my answer.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

I am an undergraduate student pursuing an individual field of concentration titled Design|Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. My focus is the integration of sustainability and information privacy for design and engineering.

In what city are you located?

Los Angeles

In what country are you located?

United States

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

Becoming a top idea can help my idea gain some momentum in popularity. This in turn will help me receive more resources such as grants, tools, and Nike Grind material which I can use to dedicate my time and effort to scale my idea.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Andrew,

Great to see you in the Challenge! Could you please provide more content for the submission question, "How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?" How might you begin to turn the raw Nike Grind materials into your final product? What might that process look like step-by-step?

With the deadline fast-approaching at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, please ensure all of your final updates are completed by then.

Excited to learn more!

Photo of Andrew

Hey Lauren,

I'm glad I can contribute! I made the requested accommodations by including some specific details for how the raw Nike Grind material can be incorporated in a step-by-step fashion.

Let me know if there is anything else. Thanks!