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How Are Tires Made?

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The history on a product that most consider relatively simple, is surprisingly a long and complex story. The development of the tire, as we know it today, dates as far back as 1845! Wow, right?

No one individual can be credited with inventing the tire.  In fact, several inventors over several decades contributed to creating the tire and here are just a few:

  • 1845 - Robert William Thomson creates the first vulcanized rubber tire. Referred to as Aerial Tires, Thomson demonstrated their use in London on horse-drawn carriages. Though a novel idea, the process was too complicated and expensive.
  • 1887 - John Boyd Dunlop (recognize that name?) produces the first practical and commercially viable inflatable tire. Dunlop was inspired to build a better tire for his son's tricycle. The first tires mass-produced by the Dunlop Tire Company were for use on bicycles.
  • 1889 - Andre and Edouard Michelin (hmm, another familiar family) recognizing the growing interest in pneumatic tires - advances the tire and fledgling automotive industry by inventing the detachable wheel. This made tire changes and repairs faster and less expensive.
  • 1911 - Philip Strauss (did we spot a trend?) advances tire technology further by combining the pneumatic tire with an inflatable inner tube. Embraced by the automotive industry, the result was a dependable, long-wearing tire that dramatically improved traction, control and ride.

Now here's a recipe for a great tire!

Step 1: Start with natural and synthetic rubber. Raw rubber is created by combining liquid latex with acids that produce solidification. Excess water is removed, and the rubber is dried and pressed into bales for manufacturing. Synthetic rubber is made by using polymers found in crude oil. The main ingredients for a successful tire include metallic and textile cables, carbon black, silica, and sulfur along with various chemicals.

Step 2: A machine known as a Banbury Mixer combines raw materials into a regulated batch of black material. A computer controls mixing to ensure standardization. Once complete, the compound is sent to other machines where it is transformed into sidewalls, treads and other aspects of the tire. After this point, tire assembly is ready to begin.

Step 3: Once all components have been produced, a tire assembler begins the building process by wrapping rubber-covered fabric around a machine drum. Beads are added, and rubber layers for sidewalls and treads are glued in place. Once complete, the "green tire" is placed in a mould for curing followed by inspection and testing, prior to distribution.

Tires come in a variety of designs, specific to the performance needs of the vehicle. Tires are optimized for particular road conditions such as winter tires, all-weather tires and all-season tires. All tires must pass stringent inspections for safety, performance and durability.

Today, new tires are designed by engineers on computers and tested through computer simulation before a prototype is produced and tested under real-world conditions.

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Tires are a vital component on your vehicle, and well designed and crafted tires ensure consistent comfort, handling and performance. Modern tires are the result of a blending of chemistry, physics, engineering and of course, history.

It is estimated that each year, more than 250 million tires are produced worldwide.

At Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre, we offer a variety of brand name tires for every make and model of vehicle.  And we offer you the best price on a new set of replacement tires with our Price Match Promise, GET A QUOTE TODAY. We'll keep you safe on the road today and every day. To learn more about all things tires, be sure to view our Tire Blog Library

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