It takes 10 to 15 components tom come together to form your vehicle’s tire. Several layers of rubber, and fabric, and steel wires are used to make one single unit of a tire. Also, bead of the tire is manufactured separately, sidewall is done separately and so is the tread. The come together step by step to form one unit.
This article is about the basic tire structure and terms used to explain what they are. First of all, let’s start with the tread of the tire.
This is the part of the tire that keeps you in contact with the tarmac/road. It has the grooves on it. The purpose of this part is to provide grip during driving. And when its a wet surface, or raining, the tread’s job is to help evacuate water. Water is evacuated circumstantially. Also, if you have one of those tires with chunks of rubber blocks on them, they will work better on dirt and loose driving surfaces. Whereas tires with smooth surface tread, works better on smooth driving surface, like tarmac. It will also be less noisy compared to those tires with chunky tread when driving at high speed.
Also Read: What Are Directional Tires
Bead is there to make sure rubber of your tire sticks to the wheel of your car. Bead is constructed with steel wires in them so they maintain their shape. Rubber of bead sits tightly with the wheel, when you fill them with air. The reason is to prevent them from leaking air and also to prevent the tire from slipping on the wheel, when you accelerate hard. In cars that run extreme times on drag strips, tires are bolted to the wheel so they won’t come off.
Sidewall is what connects your tread to the bead of the tire. It also provides cushion during the driving. Most of the handling characteristics of the car depends on the sidewall of the tire. When you turn, you shift load of the car on your tires. For example, when turning left, load of the car will shift to tires on the right side. How soft or hard is your car’s ride is, also depends on the sidewall. Low profile tires means less air and rubber to cushion the blow of road bumps, and vice versa.
Carcass is the skeleton of the tire. It holds everything together. The tread of the tire is melted together with the carcass. Carcass is made up of several plys and in case of a radial tire, reinforced with steel wires. The wires go from bead to bead. In case of a bias-ply tire, usually fabric or fiberglass as used.
Several readers will already know all this, but the purpose of the article is to help new auto enthusiasts about one of the most neglected part of our cars. Healthy car tires will not only ensure smoother ride, but also safety of you and your passengers.