A question every driver should know the answer to. Tire technology has a huge impact on driving, as we’ve seen over the decades – why?
Bending the laws of physics, creating compounds with surgical precision, adjusting the softness, thickness of the tread or the grooves according to specific guidelines is not enough. Using electronics inside the tires to monitor the condition of the tires, to help maintain optimum grip in relation to changes in the weather, are other aspects that have been introduced over the years to tire manufacturing. However, the mentioned elements are not all that a car tire offers nowadays. Once unthinkable, it is now a standard. Many believe that when it comes to tyres, we are on the verge of a revolution after several decades of evolution
Modern tire manufacturing – in brief
The production of tires is divided into several stages. It all starts with correctly executed designs. These already existed in the 80s of the 20th century, but their creation took several dozen hours. Such was the computing power of computers. Now the project is created in a few hours. CAD system, used for the first time in the 90s, helps in this
The second stage is to create a prototype tire and test it in realistic conditions. After several prototypes have been produced and tested, the one with the best test results is chosen and it goes to the next stage of production.
The third stage is material preparation and selection. A large number of substances are used in the right proportions. It all depends on the size and width of the tire and its purpose. In summer tires, the compound must be slightly harder, in winter softer.
The penultimate stage is the actual production of the tyre chosen earlier in the test. In the last part comes the cords and wires that strengthen the tires, which can be in one rubber even several thousand.
Tire technology affects driving
Back in the 1980s, no one thought about using silica in manufacturing. This began in the late 1990s, and has made it possible to significantly improve the quality and grip of tires to the road. One change that made so much possible. There have been differences in tire technology every ten years or so – today we witness a breakthrough every year. Better performance, acceleration in a matter of seconds in commercial vehicles – all this requires an adaptation of the tire production to make the journey safe and give the best of the dynamic driving.
Another issue is hybrid and electric cars. In these two groups of vehicles, we are dealing with batteries of considerable weight. These cars are much heavier than those with conventional drive. This naturally translates into the need for more durable tires. Tyre manufacturers have therefore had to change their tyre technology somewhat. Even the smaller vehicles are quite heavy, and the 15/16 inch tires have to carry a lot of weight, it was important to make them more durable and increase their load capacity.
The latest technology ensures safety on the road
Once unthinkable, now standard. Sensors inside the tire are now commonplace. They tell you about tread wear, the traffic situation or problems with the tire. Recently, a project was created by Bridgestone and Microsoft – the companies want to create a system that informs about the damage to the tires, giving also the location of such an event. So many advantages with just one sensor!
Another research is conducted by Continental. The project aims to create technical solutions that will allow to inflate or check the pressure of tires that are in motion. It will also allow the pressure and load to change automatically, adapting these parameters to the speed of driving. Another aspect that guarantees more safety for drivers on the roads. Still thinking that technology doesn’t affect driving?
The Michelin brand does not leave its competitors out in the cold. The manufacturer is betting on airless tires. The Uptis project is a tire that cannot be punctured, so once it is damaged, further driving will still be possible
These are just a few of the many concepts that are appearing and may appear in tires in the future. Changing the technology of creating tires as you can see has a significant impact on driving. This has already happened in previous years – we are talking about the mentioned silica or the system of informing about the tread wear