Tyres are traditional part of any vehicle that makes it move. Professional drivers know that it is necessary to buy high- quality tyres because they provide a better handling of the vehicle, and, thus, ensure safety of the driver and passengers. However, very few people know the history of tyre manufacturing and design. This article will highlight the most interesting and incredible facts about vehicle tyres that you might not know.
Things you did not know about tyres
- Only those, who work in tyre manufacturing industry, might know that early vehicles used “artillery wheels”. The tyre in such wheels was literally bolted to the wheel. Just imagine how hard it would be to change such tyres, if manufacturers produced something similar these days.
- Present days tyres are black. Drivers can add some style with the help nice rims that come in different colours today. But when first tyres were manufactured, they were white. Manufacturers added zinc oxide to the rubber in order to make it stronger and better but it had a strange effect. It made tyres bright white.
- Later, in the second decade of the 21 st century, tyre manufacturers obliged their engineers and designers to find a way to extend wear period of tyres and increase their durability. Researchers found a way – they added carbon black, which was a by-product of petroleum industry but became a saving tool. It really increased durability but turned tyres into black.
- Do you know who came up with carbon black business at the very beginning? Binney & Smith, famous for Crayola Crayons, sold carbon black to Goodrich tyre manufacturer. The rest, how white tyres became white, you alreadt know.
- All drivers know about Vogue Tyre and Rubber company that has been manufacturing tyres for over 100 years. A famous Vogue Tyre - is a high-end luxury tyre – is a product of Vogue Tyre and Rubber company. In fact, whitewall tyre was invented accidentally. Carbon black was tread was melded with zinc white sidewall, which resulted in invention of whitewall tyre in 1914.
- Originally, whitewalls were on both sidewalls of the tyre. Vehicles were designed with open fenders and people at the street could see both sides of tyres as the vehicle was driving by.
- Raised white letter tyres are produced in the same design or, let’s say, fashion as whitewalls. An extra step covers the sidewall with black, then grinds the rubber off the letters to the white how through.
- A well-known manufacturer of tyres on the world market – Goodyear - likes experiments. Thus, in 1961 the manufacturer was experimenting with illuminated tyres. It was not a trend back then and nobody could predict it would become popular. Tyres were lit from the inside by glass incandescent and had nice soft glowing. As you understand, these tyres have never left the market since then.
- Run-flat tyres are convenient because they allow you to driver without air and get to the nearest mechanic. These tyres have certain drawbacks because they have thicker sidewalls but, despite this, BMW installs these tyres on all its vehicles.
- Just imagine that around 300 million of tyres are discarded yearly. There are different ways of tyres recycling. Some recycling companies melt the rubber and use for asphalt, others shred it or event make new tyres from them. If you have a pair of old tyres, you can paint them in bright colours and use as a decoration for your garden.
- Modern vehicles are not sold with spare tyres. Vehicle manufacturers want to shed weight and sell new vehicles with a patch kit and a can of compressed air.
- Mini Cooper is a nice and stylish vehicle. The classic vehicle comes with 165-millimeter wide tyre. The new one Clubman comes with 225-millimeter tyre, which is wrapped around a wheel of 18 inches.
- There is an explanation for unusual speed ratings in miles. The thing is that speed ratings traditionally are set in kilometers. When being converted to miles, they become unequal, for example, Q: 99 mph.
- The Space Shuttles also have wheels and tyres. They usually have the size of 18-wheeler but with very different characteristics. Therefore, the Space Shuttle wheel can support up to 140,000 pounds at a speed 260 mph.
- Michelin manufacturer also like to experiment and improve its products. The company is working on developing “tweel”, which is a one-piece airless tyre and wheel. A new tyre will provide possibility of no flat tyres and eliminate the need of replaceable treads.
- The list of well-know and reputable tyre manufacturers is very long and includes companies such as Michelin, Goodyear, Nokian, Intercontinental, Pirelli, etc. There are tyre manufacturer all over the world but none of the above-mentioned companies produces that many tyres like company in Denmark, the homeland of Hans Christian Anderson. You will be surprised to hear that this is Lego. Yes, the same company that produces Lego constructor for children. The company was established in 1932, and began tyre production for its building block sets thirty years later. In 2011 the tyre production reached 318 million. Van you imagine?
- Tyres have two speed ratings indicated in Z and Y. Originally, Z rating was introduced first and its speed rating was around 149 mph+. Later, the technology made manufacturers to re-consider alphabet apple cart and create rating for tyres with higher performance. This is how Y rated was introduced.
- If you ever come to Michigan, US, do not miss he opportunity to see the biggest tyre. The largest tyre on the planet is located in Allen Park. It is tower of around 12 tons and 800 foot. First, it was introduced to public as a Ferris Wheel at World Fair in 1965 but later moved to Allen Park.
These facts have definitely changed your idea or tyres. Now you know that tjis is more that just a part of the vehicle that makes it move.