We have always talked about tires with a special emphasis on its safety and maintenance, but have you ever wondered about this important component of the vehicle is manufactured? Manufacturing a tire is one of the complex processes; a lot of factors must be kept in mind to manufacture different types of tires because the construction of each tire varies from one to other for example the process of manufacturing a 4×4 heavy duty vehicle would be very different from the manufacturing of ordinary car tires.
The days when the wheels were made from the wood or metal are long gone due to the emerging innovations in the automobile industry such as the invention of air-filled tires which have changed things drastically. Now, let’s see how a tire of a car is manufactured.
Modern tires are made up of approximately 10 to 15 different components which include chemical additives, pigment known as ‘Carbon Black” and different kinds of rubber (both natural and synthetic). These components are mixed together in giant blenders under extreme heat and pressure. The proportion of these components is varied depending on which kind of tire is required. The product of the mixing of these components is soft dough like rubber which is later made into sheets with the help of machines.
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After this, in a machine called ‘calendar’, the polyester fabric is added. This machine applies the soft and warm rubber on both sides of the fabric. The end product of this step is “rubberized fabric” which is later used in strengthening the structure of the tire. This sheet of fabric and rubber give a sturdiness to tire since rubber alone isn’t enough to make a tire, therefore rubber-fabric mixture is made because a tire is needed to perform better in all sort of conditions.
The rubberized fabric in the next step is laced with numerous cotton cords. The rubber fabric is then piled onto each other. The purpose of cotton cords is to help in venting hot air during the construction of tires.
In order to make treads, three different rubber formulations are needed. Streams of these three rubbers are manufactured from a machine called “Extruder”. Once the streams of these rubbers are made, they are added to other machines which makes them into one. Later, using a blade, long sheets of rubber are cut into the size of a tire.
After this, steel wires are used to make beads of the tires, so that they can stay on the wheel properly. Again, another machine is used which give a specific size and shape to beads. Rubber wheel hoops laced with steel wires are made to be used later in the final construction of the tire.
Now the tire is ready for its final shape. Both sides of bead hopes are mounted on a rotating wheel and the actual layering of rubber starts in the middle, in the shape of the actual tire. The skeleton of the tire is made first and then beads and inner part of the tire is connected to it.
Outer layer having strips of rubber, embedded with the steels cords is assembled separately.
The final part comes when tread rubber is applied to the plies. After this, a machine transfers the ply part and tread of the tire to where the skeleton or inner part of the tire is held. All the layers of rubber throughout the construction of tire is fused when the compressed air is pumped into the inner part of the tire. The machine the then rolls over the edge of the tread rubber to the sidewalls. Now this tire is called a ‘green tire‘. It is so named because the green tire is a tire that has no tread pattern and is uncured.
This green tire is thus placed in a mold to shape and bake it. The mold is like an oven, where the tread patterns are engraved with an automatic mold mechanism under heat and pressure. The tire is vulcanized due to the heat and pressure. Now from the finished product, the excess rubber is trimmed. After the final testing and inspection, the tire is ready to be shipped and is ready to be mounted on a wheel and hit the road.
This article is a gist of the process of making of a tire which is otherwise is a very complex and long process. But, we hope that this article helps you understand that how regular tire of a car is made.