There are so many common items that we see every day but never wonder about. For instance, tires are an integral part of a vehicle’s system of operation, but all we see are round, ridged circles that get us to and fro. Let’s dive deeper into the facts, types and interesting tidbits about tires!

Facts About Tires

Tires are ring-shaped components that surround a wheel rim and transfer a vehicle’s weight from the axle to the wheel and the ground. The tires also provide traction on the surface. For this reason, they are critical components of a vehicle.

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Carbon Black

Carbon black is a popular ingredient used in tires and other industrial rubber products. It is a fine particle made mostly of carbon and is a byproduct of the combustion of petroleum products. Carbon black has a number of benefits, including improving tensile strength, resistance to wear and abrasion resistance. It also conducts heat away from belts and treads, extending the life of the tire.

Carbon black makes tires easier to maintain. White sidewalls reveal dirt and discoloration easily while carbon black protects the tires from ozone and UV rays, extending their life.

Carbon black is a chemical compound produced as a byproduct of incomplete combustion of petroleum products. The compound is extremely fine and contains more than 60 percent carbon. It is a pigment and UV stabilizer that can be found in rubber, ink, plastic and other materials.

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Run On Flat Tires

Run On Flat Tires are special GoodYear designed for your vehicle that allow you to continue driving even with a punctured tire. You can drive on them for as long as 50 miles on some models. They are also designed to resist deflation so you can continue driving, but you need to replace the tire as soon as possible when damage occurs. Your wheel can survive a tire puncture and the run-flat tire is designed to help you get to a replacement destination, but you are not meant to continue using the vehicle on this tire for an extended period beyond getting to a replacement facility.

Run-flat tires require a special tire pressure monitor system to prevent them from getting flat. Some systems can even measure the actual air pressure inside each tire. Other models can detect when a tire is losing air pressure and flash a warning light on the instrument panel. This system is required by federal law starting with the 2008 model year.

Run-flat tires also provide comfort when driving after a puncture, allowing you to avoid a stop in an unfamiliar location. The added sidewall reinforcement makes run-flat tires heavier than standard tires. But they are more comfortable to drive on and provide immeasurable safety.

Whitewall Tires

Whitewall tires are those that have a white sidewall. These types of tires were most popular in the early 1900’s and into the mid-1980’s. They are now becoming less common. The reason for this is that whitewall tires have become more expensive to produce and aren’t as commonly aesthetically pleasing. However, they are still an attractive choice for many drivers.

Whitewall tires were once considered the pinnacle of automobile luxury and fashion. While they are no longer manufactured in large quantities, they remain popular in car culture circles. However, they are much more difficult to keep clean than black wall tires. To help prevent this from happening, the manufacturer uses special compounds that mix into adjacent black rubber.

Components of a Tire

Reinforcing Members

Reinforcing members of a tire are used to provide strength to the tire and improve handling performance. Reinforcing members can be made of several different materials. One type of reinforcing member is made from a thin band that is spirally wound. Another type is made from a multi-layered structure. These layers may be made of steel, carbon, or glass fiber.

The reinforcing members in a tire are typically composed of a stack of plies. These plies are also called carcass plies or crown plies. These layers are then stacked and cut to the appropriate tire blank.

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Collection from a rubber tree

Natural Rubber

A tire is made up of several different materials, but two of the most important are natural rubber and synthetic rubber. Synthetic rubber is made in a chemical plant, whereas natural rubber is harvested from rubber trees. Both of them have their own benefits. Synthetic rubber is more durable and offers lower heat generation inside the tire, which reduces fuel consumption.

In addition to synthetic rubber, tires can also be made of bio-based materials. Currently, 90 percent of the natural rubber in tires comes from the rubber tree, the Havea brasiliensis. The goal is to diversify the climates in which tires are manufactured to increase their sustainability.


The textiles of a tire are woven into the sidewalls to provide abrasion and cut resistance. They can be either continuous filament or staple yarns. The latter has a higher basis weight and mass than continuous filament yarns, making it impractical to weave large yarns. In addition, the fabric has limited cut resistance and is bulky.

The fabric used to cover the interior of a tire is made of various types of yarns, including nylon and polyester. These yarns are twisted into a fabric and then bonded with the tire. The fabric is designed to be durable and withstand long driving distances, hot and cold pavement temperatures and several other factors.

Steel Wire

The quality of a steel wire cord within a tire depends on its tensile strength, elongation and stiffness. Steel wire cords are made of carbon-rich steel rod and brass-coated strands. Steel wire cords are also important for fatigue performance, especially for multi-ply and belted tires. They must also be stored in a temperature and humidity-controlled room to maintain their bonding properties with rubber.

The tire is made up of many different parts, and each one plays an important role in the life of the tire. The steel wire in a tire helps to support the tire and to disperse the weight. It also makes the tire more durable.

As always, be sure to contact Courtesy Auto Service and Tire of Tacoma for all your tire needs!