What’s in a Tire? Raw Materials that Make Up Tires

What’s in a Tire? Raw Materials that Make Up Tires

The materials used in tire design continue to evolve and improve.

There are a ton of materials and compounds that go into the creation of a tire – it’s really something to behold. But, do you even know what you’re selling? Like, obviously it’s a tire, but what is it made of? It’s essential to understand what goes into making the tires you sell, including the raw materials used in manufacturing.

In this Tire Review Continental Tire Garage Studio video, we take a closer look at some of the raw materials that make up tires.

Raw materials are defined as materials or substances used in the primary production or manufacturing of goods. When it comes to tire creation, a combination of raw materials makes a product that can stand up to the elements. Chemists and engineers want to get the perfect “recipe” for whatever tire they’re making.

By understanding the properties and functions of the main materials that make up a tire, tire dealers can sell tires to meet the specific needs of different customers’ vehicles and driving habits. For example, a tire’s rubber compound affects its traction and durability – different rubber compounds may provide a better grip but wear out quicker, while others will provide the tire with long-lasting tread life.

The most common raw materials used in tire production include natural rubber, synthetic rubber, carbon black, steel and polyester. For this video, let’s focus on these.

Natural rubber is the primary raw material used in tire production. It’s a sticky, elastic material harvested from the sap of rubber trees and is an essential component of tires because of its ability to provide traction and durability.

Synthetic rubber is man-made and often used in combination with natural rubber to enhance the tire’s grip, durability and resistance to extreme temperatures. Many manufacturers use synthetic rubber to improve other properties of the tire like longevity and rolling resistance.

Carbon black is a fine, black powder – made by burning oil or natural gas with limited air. It’s used in tire production to increase durability and resistance to abrasion. Carbon black also helps reduce heat buildup in the tire, extending its lifespan and also makes the tire black.

Steel is one of the primary materials used in tire production thanks to its strength and durability. In tire manufacturing, steel wire or cords are used to create steel belts and the tire’s bead. Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is commonly used in tire production as a cord fabric in the tire’s sidewall.

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