Did you know that foam-filled tires were created in response to air-filled pneumatic tires constantly going flat? At one point in time, foam-filled tires were seen as the better alternative to air-filled pneumatic tires. After all, foam-filled wheels offer most of the same benefits as a set of pneumatic wheels do, without experiencing leakage through punctures. That’s right, all air-filled pneumatic tires lose air over a period of time - and that’s just scratching the surface.
Weighing The Cost
Foam-filled tires last longer than air-filled, and are better for most job sites. However, foam-filled tires are generally harder to push because they're heavier. An air-filled pneumatic wheel is 2-3 times lighter than a foam-filled wheel and provide a smoother ride. Much of the lightweight attributes can be given credit to the cushion of the air-filled pneumatic tire's ability to deliver a great bounce and rebound resiliency.
Even though air-filled pneumatic wheels can require frequent maintenance, their price/performance breaks appeal to original equipment manufacturers for them to be installed onto a product as a standard item. Foam-filled tires may not require frequent maintenance, but their Total Cost of Ownership can be higher due to replacement or refilling after it has been worn down.
The choice between foam-filled and air-filled pneumatic tires depends on which one is best for your application and what you’re looking to get out of the product. For instance, as durable as the foam-filled tire may be, you will feel every bump that comes in contact with the wheel. Whereas, the cushioning of air-filled tires can serve as a shock-absorber when rolled over a sudden change in landscape.