Materials used to produce tyres
Of course, rubber is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about tyres. However, things are a bit more complicated in reality. For instance, a tyre features dozens of different components. And these components are made from various materials. Continue reading to see which materials are used to produce tyres.
Various types of rubber
Not all types of rubber are the same. Different types have different properties. That is why both natural rubber and synthetic rubber are used to produce tyres. In addition, a very small percentage of butyl rubber is also added. In fact, there are a total of thirty different rubber compounds.
The main differences between natural rubber and synthetic rubber are as follows:
|Natural rubber||Synthetic rubber|
|Very elastic||Less elastic|
|Not completely air-tight||Better airtightness|
|Low heat development and rolling resistance||More heat resistance|
|Unable to effectively cope with high temperatures||Unable to effectively cope with low temperatures|
Due to these properties, for example, more natural rubber is used in winter tyres than in summer tyres.
- A large part of the tyre - approximately a quarter - consists of fillers. For instance, carbon black and silica. They are used to strengthen and reinforce the rubber compound. Silica is actually better suited for wet surfaces than carbon black.
- Oil-based plasticizers (safe oils, so not carcinogenic) are used to modify the hardness and stiffness of tyres.
- Anti-degradants are chemical substances that protect tyres against the effects of sun, oxygen and ozone.
- Rubber is vulcanised by adding sulphur, which makes the compound more elastic.
- Steel wire ensures an air tight connection between the tyre and the rim.
- Synthetic materials like polyester, rayon, fibreglass and nylon are used to construct and reinforce the casing.