Tires allow us to travel hundreds of miles in our cars, but have you ever stopped to consider what goes into making a tire? In this fast paced world of freeways and cars that drive faster than ever, tires have to be extremely durable. That durability is created in part by the tire materials and the creation process itself.
Materials Used in Creating Tires
Tires are made up of a number of materials including rubber, ply fabrics, and steel. Beads are a durable steel that make up the inner edges of the tires and help maintain shape. The body or inside of the tire is made of fabric that is formed from layers of ply. Each layer of ply is coated in rubber and stacked together to form one strong layer. They are designed to hold air inside of them once they are coated with rubber, which allows them to stick to other parts of the tire. There are also steel belts which help keep the tire tread as flat as possible against the road. Tires also have sidewalls that give them protection from side to side movement. The grooves in the tread are the visible part of the tire. Molded rubber forms the tread, not another material being added to it.
Tire Building Process
Once all these materials are present, it is time to put everything together. To create the right consistency to make a tire, natural and synthetic rubber is placed in a banbury mixer with additives and oil until it is the consistency of gum. That rubber mixture is then used to make several different parts of the tire.
When each part has been made individually, they come together in what is called a tire-building machine. It is here that the plies, belts, beads, tread (un-grooved) and rubber liners all come together and the machine puts them in their right places. When a tire comes off the machine, it is considered green because the deep grooves still aren’t present in the tread. It then goes into a mold that inflates and heats it up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. As the tire inflates and the rubber softens, it is pushed into a mold that has deep grooves and the product information on it. The tire will continue filling the mold until it is completely inflated. When the mold is taken off, the grooves and product information have been indented into the soft rubber of the tire. From here, the tire can be put on a wheel and used.
A lot of time, effort, and materials go into making each tire. That’s why here at Eco Green Equipment, we’ve found ways to take the life of a tire far beyond its use on a car, truck, or plane. Click through our blog to discover a few of the many ways that recycled tires are used every day.