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Tyre Construction and Usage
Tyre Construction and Usage
The first tyres were developed in the 1800’s. In 1889, in Clermont-Ferrand, France, two brothers named Edouard and Andre Michelin patented the very first removable pneumatic tyre, changing the industry forever.
At this time, the tyres were used solely on bicycles, with Charles Terront, endurance cyclist, calling upon the help of the Michelin brothers’ rubber tubing to help him on his way to the very first PBP (Paris-Brest-Paris) title — a 750-mile endurance race.
Nowadays, Michelin manufacturers tyres for a wide range of vehicles and transport systems, including aircrafts, cars, and even space shuttles in the past. Operating seven research and development centres, 69 factories, and trading in 170countries worldwide. But why are tyres so important, how are they constructed, and how are they utilised?
Let’s take a look.
Why Are Tyres So Important?
Tyres are the only contact point between your vehicle and the road. Providing essential grip when accelerating and braking. Tyres must strike a balance between comfort, durability, fuel efficiency, and grip, and there are many other factors that a tyre designer must consider.
They are far more than just a rubber compound. Tyres support the entire weight of the vehicle, absorb shocks sent from the road surface, and help ensure the vehicle maintains a stable course on the road.
Before the tyre construction process starts, Michelin employ a vast amount of intensive research and development. We actively study and cross reference motorists’ driving habits and tyre usage, making sure our tyres not only have the aforementioned qualities, but are in the right balance for as many users as possible.
A Tyre is seen as being made from a single substance. It is in fact a complex assembly of various components. Tyres are made from 200 different raw materials.
Their rubber is made from four types of materials
- Elastomers: Such as rubber
- Reinforcing Fillers: Carbon black for rigidity and rupture resistance, Silica for good grip, wear and low rolling resistance.
- Additives: such as zinc oxide to activate Vulcanisation of the rubber, and wax buttons that adjust the rigidity of the rubber mix
- Plasticizers: including resins that are adhesive, micro-cracking resistant and fatigue resistant.
Tyres also include Steel and Textile products.
- Steel: in the Bead area, casing/bracing plies
- Textile: in the casing/bracing plies
Back in their infancy, tyres were used solely for bicycles and tricycles. Now, they cater to a plethora of vehicles and transport options. Bikes, cars, planes, and trains — the list is endless.
As of 2010, the number of passenger cars in the world reached the one billion mark for the very first time, acting as an example of the sheer number of tyres required.
From motorsport to everyday use, tyres are crucial in ensuring our safety when driving.
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