Tires play an important role by providing a vehicle's stability, durability, and traction. So, how are tires made? We have the answers.
How are tires made? What is the process involved in tire manufacturing? What is the design process of a tire? What are the components of a tire?
Natural and synthetic rubber, carbon and silica, metallic reinforcement wires, and other chemical components are combined to form 200 ingredients used in tire manufacturing. The ingredients are mixed at a specific ratio to provide the consumer with an efficient and high-performing tire.
This article will take a comprehensive study of how tires and made and the manufacturing process involved in the tire production. It will also cover the design process of a tire and the components that make up a tire. So, if you are curious about understanding the type of tire that will meet your vehicle’s needs but do not know their production process, then this article will guide you on this.
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Table of Contents
Tires play a significant role in ensuring safety. They help to provide a good grip and balance when driving. The correct quality tires create a reasonable control of the vehicle that helps avoid the risks of getting into an accident. A poor quality tire can lead to car crashes and reduce the overall safety of your car.
Depending on the weather conditions and the weight and length of your vehicle, you can choose the type of tire you want to buy. Due to the dynamics in technology, the manufacture of tires has evolved from using everyday materials such as air and rubber to different layers of fabric, each having a unique role to play in the tire.
How are tires made?
Tires are made from a combination of mixed ingredients at a specific ratio. The common ingredients used in manufacturing a tire are natural and synthetic rubber, black carbon and silica, metallic reinforcement wires, and other chemical components. Natural rubber is the latex extracted from rubber trees. The primary function of the natural rubber in tire manufacturing is to maintain the tire's internal temperature and provide mechanical tire resistance.
The source of synthetic rubber is hydrocarbons. The function of synthetic rubber as an ingredient is to help in hysteresis, where when a force is applied to the tire, it will impact its shape. Synthetic rubber helps to bring back the original form of the tire. Carbon black gives the tire its color, preventing harmful radiation from reacting with the tire, leading to tire cracking and rupturing.
Silica is another essential ingredient in manufacturing a tire—the source of silica in the sand. When mixed with other ingredients, it decreases the wear and tear of a tire and creates a firm grip on slimy road surfaces.
The process of manufacturing a tire
The manufacturing process of a tire comprises several stages involved. They include;
Natural and synthetic rubber is combined with various chemicals to produce a product used in the tires. It would be best to incorporate all of the mentioned ingredients in the correct quantity as per the manufacturing guide, which recommends that out of 100% of the total ingredients, 60% should be natural and synthetic rubber.
The function of the extruder is to take some of the rubber that clears out when the mixing process continues at the first stage. the rubber is pressed on a die which generates shapes of different compounds to employ in the tire. It includes compounds such as extrusion and treads.
Pressing and building the tire
At this stage, the rubber is pressed to form layers of rubber sheets. The rubber can also be infused into a textile to create a coated rubber sheet divided into pieces for the tire. The parts can be belts, liners, and body plies.
Building the tire involves all the ingredients combined in the previous stages, which will form an uncured tire. The tire is collected inside-out by swaddling the components around the drum. You will use the air pressure from the inside part of the tire and a roller from the outside to combine them.
Curing and tire testing
The uncured tire is green in color, and therefore, carbon black needs to be added to the tire to form the black color. The green tire is put on a mold set up on a press in this stage. It is at the press where the tire, through the bladder, becomes inflated with air at a low pressure to start forming its shape as the mold continues to cover the tire. Once the tire is fully covered, high-pressure gas is filled in the bladder, making the tire have a complete tire shape.
The cured tire is inflated and pitched upon a wheel at a given pressure and load. This activity aims to estimate if the tire can handle the different forces present on the road surface.
How the design process of a tire affects its performance
The exterior design of a tire plays a crucial role in the wheel's performance. The tread is designed to provide a good grip and traction on various road surfaces. The road condition will determine the kind of tread you will use, whether the road is wet or dry. For a damp road surface, you should consider the following features;
- Sipes; sipes are fine incisions found on the surface of the tire. They help increase grip and traction on wet road surfaces by splashing out the water from the road and away from the tires.
- Shape and pattern layout; a tread has got a directional, symmetrical, and asymmetrical pattern that you can choose from depending on the condition of the road surface. Asymmetrical tracks are suitable for wet road surfaces.
- Groove; the more comprehensive the grove, the better it is to splash water away from the tire and the road.
- For a dry road surface, you should consider the following features;
- Tread blocks; dry road surfaces prefer using a more significant tread block to increase the grip and traction.
- Sipes; a tread block containing many sipes may increase the inflexibility of the tread patterns. However, through a new invention of 3d sipes, where they latch each other under load.
The components of a tire
Tires consist of different parts that function together to ensure that the tire is of quality and high performance. Some of the pieces include:
A bead is an extensible strength cable coated with rubber and rolled to form the required inner diameter and wheel turns. The function of the bead is to provide the tire with the skeleton structure which grips it.
A ply represents a rubber sheet that is coated with a textile. A ply links the other tire elements directly or indirectly. The function of the ply is to strengthen the tire and make it flexible so that it retains its shape during a tire deformation.
A chafer is a component that swaddles around the bead part of the tire. It forms a connection between the wheel and the tire. It features a rubber that helps reduce the tire's wear and tear.
Belts and overlays
Belts are rubber sheets that are aligned with steel. The primary function of a belt is to resist wheel puncture and increase wheel rigidity. Overlays are rubber sheets aligned with textiles. The role of the overlay is to balance the speed of the wheel.
A tread is present on the outer part of the wheel. The print gives the tires a firm grip that enables the vehicle to speed and use breaks efficiently. It also helps to provide a smooth and enjoyable ride.
Wrapping it Up
Understanding how to manufacture a tire from scratch is crucial to ensure you are familiar with the type of tires you want to purchase and whether it is suitable for your vehicle. Knowing the different components used in tire production will give you an idea of the best quality and high-performing tires.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding