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Tyres: Setting The World Into Motion
By Barney Garcia
Tyres are often underestimated and most abused part in an automobile It is, however, the most important part of an automobile and no super-fast, hi-tech engine can make a car move if it hasn’t got its basic rubbers on. While Charles Goodyear Invented Vulcanized Rubber in 1844, which was to be used in making tyres later on, It was Philip Strauss who invented the first successful tyre in 1911, which was a combination of a tyre and an air-filled tube.
Components of a Tire
In the order of a tire’s layering, the first and the most important component would be the Bead, which is a coil of high-strength steel layered with rubber – its primary function is to help keep the tyre fixated on the wheel and handle multitudinal forces acting upon it.
The rest of the tire is necessarily the Body which is made of layers of strong fabrics called Plies – the strength of the tire often lies in the number of Plies it has. Motor Cars might have about 2 or 3 Plies while commercial jet liners might have 30 to 35. Tires> have a Side Wall to provide lateral stability to it, guards the body plies and keeps the tire pressure from escaping. All steel- belted radial tires have Steel Belts running in loops and used to strengthen the area under the tread, giving it the strength to resist punctures
the best possible contact with the road surfaces.
Some high-speed tires also come with Cap Plies – basically an extra layer or two of polyester
fabric to help keep all the elements of the tire in place and give it more strength
to sustain extra forces during high speeds. The Tread is the primary contact
point of the tire with the road, and is an amalgamation of different kinds of
natural and synthetic rubbers – the tread is generally worked on a curing machine
to get those fine patterns we see on tires, until then it is called as a green
tire – the process is called Vulcanizing, after which the tire is ready to roll
on the ground.
All these elements together help to give the tire enough
strength to sustain the weight of and the numerous forces that act upon it during
vehicular motion. Traction is an important aspect and sometimes, extra deep grooves
run in the direction of the treads on the tire to give the tire extra traction
during Hydroplaning (characteristic of losing traction on wet surfaces!)