The tyres on your car might seem like simple circles of black rubber that have been mass produced in a moulding machine in a factory but have you ever wondered just how are tyres made? You may not be able to see any distinguishable characteristics at all, other than the tread pattern. In reality, your tyres have been carefully constructed using a whole series of different processes and up to 200 raw materials.
Every tyre model is different, and tyre manufacturers invest a lot of money in research and development in order to create the best possible tyres for every different driving condition. When the manufacturers design a new tyre, one of the key components to consider is the special mixture of rubber compounds they use in the tyre. It needs to be balanced to optimise the tyre’s abilities for steering, braking, road handling and wear. The other key components of a tyre are the steel bead wires (which hold the tyre onto the rim of the wheel); the casing ply (which gives the tyre strength); and the bracing plies (which serve to maximise the amount of the tyre that stays in contact with the road).
On the outside of the tyre, there are grooves and tread sipes on the shoulder of the tyre. These are specially designed by computers to channel water away from the surface of the tyre so that it can maintain grip in wet conditions. The contact patch is also designed so that it resists general wear and tear, and so it can cope with extremely high temperatures generated by constant friction with the road.
Remember that your tyres are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, so it is essential that they provide sufficient grip. Your tyres are designed to deliver a comfortable ride while remaining as robust and hard-wearing as possible. The perfect tyre helps you safely manoeuvre your vehicle in all weather conditions.