Replacing the tires on your car can be an expensive afternoon. When you see the old tires pulled off it is easy to wonder if they could be given new life, since a lot of it is still intact. We asked tire enthusiasts for their thoughts on recycling old tires into new tires, and how that might affect the quality of the new tires. Keep reading to see what they had to say.
Recycled Tires are Inferior in Quality
Unfortunately, we can’t recycle used tires into new ones while maintaining their quality and durability. The tires that contain recycled material are inferior compared to the new ones.
They also have a reduced tread life, meaning they have a lower duration and can give up in just a few years. Lower traction is also associated with recycled tires, making them unsuitable in snow and other weather conditions.
Old Tires Can’t be New Ones
When new tires are made, the rubber compound undergoes a chemical process called “vulcanization,” which is not reversible. For this reason, old tires are unable to be made into new tires. However, they are still recycled into materials for other industries and there are new uses for old tires being discovered all the time. These uses include being made into materials for asphalt and other materials for the use of construction.
Cody Crawford is an American entrepreneur, vehicle enthusiast, and co-founder of Low Offset.
Tires can be Retreaded Depending on Condition
Tires cannot be recycled in the same way that aluminum cans are recycled. Recycling tires requires energy to break down the tire, clean, separate it into rubber/carbon/steel components and then reconstitute them into new tires. Tires are made up of two primary parts, the casing and the tread. If the casing is in excellent condition but the tread has been worn down, the tire can be retreaded and used again.
This is common in big trucks and earthmoving vehicles but not in smaller passenger cars. Recycling old tires to new ones is not cost-effective considering the high rate of energy required to break down the tire, clean it up and then reconstitute it into a new tire. Instead, most used tires are recycled for use in athletics tracks and manufacturing plants.
Tires are Repurposed for Asphalt
Tires are made out of vulcanized rubber. This process can’t be reversed easily; it’s much easier to make a new tire out of fresh rubber than it is to reverse the process. Making a new tire out of a recycled one doesn’t happen, rather they grind old tires and put them into asphalt for repaving the roads.
With that said, if the rubber casing of an old tire is still in good condition but treads are worn out, sometimes old tires can be retreaded, giving it a new life for some time. This process is common for trucks and heavy machines, but it is very rare for passenger vehicles.
Recycled Tires Lack Quality
No, tires cannot be recycled into new tires with the same quality and durability. Although some tires can be recycled, the quality will never be the same as a new tire. After years of usage, the entire tread circle becomes delaminated, and it cannot be made into a new one.
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