0
$\begingroup$

After a nuclear war many technologies were lost to history. One of these technological marvels that was lost is the process of making rubber.

For nearly 500 years, scientists have tried to recreate it, but the materials they make are either too brittle to be used, or too soft and squishy. Rubber tires were all either destroyed or scavenged so you can’t find any more rubber tires.

Now say I am a traveler who wants to get from the east coast to the west coast, and I am repairing a car to drive there. What materials besides rubber could be used to make tires?

$\endgroup$
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Rubber is processed tree sap. There isn't much technology involved in making a basic rubber tyre. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcanization. Modern tyres have carbon added to increase the lifetime and steel/nylon bands to ensure they keep their shape, but that's all optional $\endgroup$ – nzaman Feb 17 '18 at 15:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The trees that make the sap went extinct $\endgroup$ – Bryan Feb 17 '18 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking about making a tire from synthetic elastomers then? $\endgroup$ – Shalvenay Feb 17 '18 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I am, the knowledge of synthetic rubber is lost $\endgroup$ – Bryan Feb 17 '18 at 15:39
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ "For nearly 500 years, scientists have tried to recreate it": really? A world where they have gasoline and engine oil but no synthetic rubber is not believable -- either they have a petrochemical industry or they don't. Synthetic rubber is not that hard to make -- they made synthetic rubber on an large scale in Russia during World War 1 -- and at that time Russia was very far from being an industrial power! $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 17 '18 at 19:44
11
$\begingroup$

You have a 2 ton metal vehicle. So you have metal tech.
You have spring steel. You can make spring steel wheels.

spring steel bike wheels http://www.core77.com/posts/20994/ron-arad-designed-bicycle-with-spring-steel-wheels-up-for-auction-20994

Follow the link to see this bike being ridden down the street. So cool!

loopwheels! https://www.loopwheels.com/product/wheels-for-wheelchairs/

You will use spring steel loops of a gauge and loop density adequate to support your vehicle. You might make your heavy gauge loops out of something like leaf springs.

leaf springs http://www.ebay.com/bhp/trailer-leaf-springs

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

Once upon a time, carts ran on solid wooden wheels, and then wooden wheels with an iron rim. These wheels gave a more bumpy ride than modern tires, but then they were moving much slower, too. This would be one option.

Or the tires are a material which gives a bit more shock absorbance than solid wood and steel. One option is to use a springy wire mesh.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I don’t think wooden wheels would work, this isn’t a horse drawn carriage after all, its a two ton metal machine $\endgroup$ – Bryan Feb 17 '18 at 15:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Bryan Wood can support very large weights. I don't think 500 kg (2000 kg spread among four wheels) would be impossible with reasonable sizes. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Feb 17 '18 at 21:12
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Wooden wheels were not unknown on early automobiles. Sure, they weren't big sections of log, but certainly spokes and perhaps even rims of wood are entirely feasible. And the cars and trucks those old wheels were supporting were pretty heavily built of steel compared with a modern plastic car! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Feb 17 '18 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Bryan, Conestoga freight wagons had no trouble carrying 6+ tons on wooden wheels at respectable speeds. $\endgroup$ – Mark Feb 18 '18 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ Get some made right now and beat the rush: wheelwright.org.uk/wheels/car-wheels $\endgroup$ – Thucydides Feb 18 '18 at 0:53
4
$\begingroup$

Leather + sewing + fat, may do the job for a while or further. ( watertight early diving suits ) Leatherwork has a great range of useful mechanical properties. ( leather belting, sealing,...)

EDIT: Building inflatable leather tyre takes a lot of time, and looks like one steampunk performance.

If you need to quit and drive quick, wind large diameter rope around naked hub, tighten it using smaller rope this way : (replace tyre in picture with large diameter rope)

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.