Lightweight Run-flat Tire/Wheel Assemblies for Marine Corps Wheeled Vehicles
Navy SBIR 2019.3 - Topic N193-138
MCSC - Mr. Jeffrey Kent - [email protected]
Opens: September 24, 2019 - Closes: October 23, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Lightweight Run-flat Tire/Wheel Assemblies for Marine Corps Wheeled Vehicles


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground/Sea Vehicles

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PEO LS, Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV)

OBJECTIVE: Develop lightweight run-flat tire/wheel assemblies for Marine Corps Wheeled Vehicles by using innovative materials, design, manufacturing processes, and test methodology to provide increased survivability and mobility on/off paved roads and in water.

DESCRIPTION: A run-flat tire is a pneumatic tire designed to resist the effects of deflation when punctured, and to enable the vehicle to continue to be driven at reduced speeds for limited distances. Military run-flat tires have traditionally used an insert installed in the pneumatic tire that can support the weight of the vehicle in the event of a loss of pressure. These inserts are heavy and add significant un-sprung, rotating mass that reduce ride quality and decrease vehicle fuel efficiency. Run-flats function by providing a minimal rolling radius, thus ensuring adequate traction and acceptable longevity over a specified maximum speed and range of operations. Run-flats provide immediate mobility following a flat but are designed to be used in emergency situations as their use results in the degradation of the tire.

The Marine Corps needs lightweight run-flat tire/wheel designs for military vehicles that increase the survivability and mobility of tactical and combat vehicles. The designs can use the existing or a modified Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) and should consider the effects on the drivetrain of running tires of different diameters. The wheel assembly of interest has a 53-inch diameter using a 16 R 20 tire. The run-flat must maintain a minimum distance of 17 inches from the ground to the center of the wheel under individual wheel loads up to 11,500 lbs. The objective weight for the lightweight run-flat is less than 50 pounds but must be lighter than 75 pounds. The cost for a lightweight run-flat should be less than $2,000 per tire for a 75-pound design but could be higher for lighter weight designs. The run-flat must allow the vehicle to maintain mobility for 25 miles at a speed of 30 mph when one or two tires are flat, and 5 miles at a speed of 5 mph when three or four are flat on one side. The design must meet the requirements of SAE J2014 [Ref 1].

PHASE I: Develop concepts for lightweight run-flat tire/wheel designs that increase the survivability and mobility of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) by exploring the use of alternative materials, design, maintainability, and manufacturing techniques that meet the requirements outlined above. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting the Marine Corps needs. Establish feasibility by material testing and analytical modeling, as appropriate. Provide a Phase II plan that includes designs for tactical vehicles and identifies performance goals, key technical milestones, and addresses technical risks.

PHASE II: Build prototypes for material testing and analytical modeling as appropriate. Support evaluation of the prototypes to determine if the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the requirements outlined in SAE J2014 [Ref 1] and TOP 02-2-698 [Ref 2] have been met.

Demonstrate system performance through prototype evaluation and modeling to include Mission Profile Run Flat, Paved Run Flat, Tire Traction, Vehicle Evasive Maneuver, Bead Unseating, Rolling Resistance, Dimensional Criteria, and Mechanical Reliability (Off-road Durability). Refine the designs based on the results of testing/modeling. Prepare a Phase III plan to transition the technology to the Marine Corps and the commercial marketplace.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Conduct full-scale application, testing, demonstration, implementation, and commercialization.

The technologies developed under this SBIR would have direct application to other Department of Defense applications including other services� Run Flat Tire/Wheel Assemblies on Combat and Tactical Wheeled Vehicles. Additional applications would include government and private security industries for personal protection, the banking industry, and police armored vehicles.


1. SAE J2014 - Pneumatic Tire/Wheel/Run flat Assembly Qualifications for Military Tactical Wheeled Vehicles.

2. Test Operations Procedure (TOP 02-2-698) � Run flat Testing.

KEYWORDS: Run-flat; Run-flat Wheel Assembly; Tires; Wheels; Mobility; Survivability



These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2019.3 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2019.3 BAA SBIR pre-release on August 23, 2019, which opens to receive proposals on September 24, 2019, and closes October 23, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.

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