Tire technology

Charles GoodyearCharles Goodyear

Tire technology

Natural rubber products appeared in the early 1800s, but were impractical due to softening or brittleness in hot or cold weather. An American inventor Charles Goodyear developed the vulcanization process for natural rubber in 1839, linking unsaturated bonds by sulfur. This basic process is still used with addition of chemical accelerants and stabilizers. By 1945, synthetic rubber was being commercially produced as a rubber substitute.

Based on their area of use, tires may be manufactured in extra sizes and dimensions, and with special treadsBased on their area of use, tires may be manufactured in extra sizes and dimensions, and with special treads

Rubber inner tubeRubber inner tube

As tire demand increased, improvements including using an inner tube to replace solid rubber tires, reinforcing with a natural or synthetic fabric cord for strength, and adding materials for reduced wear. Tubeless tires debuted later.

Structures of natural and vulcanized rubbers

  1. Rubber molecules
  2. Sulfur

Did you know?

The fundamental difference between winter and summer tires is in the material they are made of. Cold weather tyres are designed with a larger percentage of natural rubber and silica (amorphous silicon dioxide) in the compound which doesn't harden up as much as synthetic rubber in cold conditions, keeps its flexibility even at 20 degcree below 0, and offers improved grip in cold weather.

Process of vulcanization on molecular level (shown through chemical symbols)