Till date, the invention of the wheel is considered as the biggest achievement of the primitive man. This path-breaking discovery helped put an end to the Stone Age. Man was no longer hauling big loads on his back, as this invention helped to reduce his physical efforts considerably through various application in pottery, building carts or for other modes of transport. Although since then man has advanced from bullock carts to bullet trains, the practicality of this invention is still significant in today’s time. The wheel is now majorly used in the form of robust tires that are used in several modes of transport; ranging from a simple bicycle to more advanced space shuttle landing gear.
Thankfully, the inquisitive nature of man still remains the same. Various efforts are being made to reinforce these tires for a smoother functioning. This continuous strife to improve the driving experience has even led to the establishment of a multi-million dollar global tire reinforcement materials market.
Below is the list of top 5 tire reinforcement materials that can help resist any mechanical damage, provide better traction and adhesive properties and help them last longer:
Polyester is a synthetic material and is characterized by the presence of ester groups. It is obtained through the process of polymerization, after which it is subjected to melt spinning and drawing phases. A polyester ire cord can provide added strength, heat resistance, dimensional stability, increased extensibility, stiffness and proper control to normal rubber tires. It is used both in cross-ply and radial tire carcass as it suits well for driving on a highway. Latest modifications in the manufacturing process have resulted in the development of DSP-PET (Dimensionally Stable PET) or HMLS (High Modulus low shrinkage) that are increasingly being deployed in several reinforcement processes. At present, Asia-Pacific holds a major share of the global polyester tire reinforcement materials market.
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Steel cord is a major component used for tire reinforcement as it provides excellent resistance to heat and fatigue. A major component of steel tire cord is iron; while carbon acts an alloying component, accounting for 0.02% – 1.7% by weight. The amount and distribution of carbon majorly determine the tensile strength, elasticity, and hardness of the steel. Traditionally the steel tire cords used had a tensile strength of around 2800 MPa. However, through advance research higher strength steel cords have been developed in recent years by employing better quality raw materials and improved processing.
Rayon is a cellulose fiber manufactured from cotton or wood pulp through a chemical process that involves wet spinning and drying. Generally, a specific type of cellulose-based filament named Lyocell is used for manufacturing tire reinforcement materials. These materials are used in car tire carcass for providing durability, strength, and dynamic stiffness to tires. Rayon tire reinforcement materials exert adhesive force over normal rubber tires and are generally employed for Ultra-High-Performance Tire and Run Flat Tire.
Nylon is a general term used for aliphatic polyamides. Nylon material is the strongest of all synthetic fibers and has successfully been used as a tire reinforcement material. Nylon 66 tire cord is more common and is used for carcasses of truck and bus tires, aircraft, off-the-road equipment, and motorcycle tires. The demand for nylon tire cord is expected to increase, especially in the Asia-Pacific market where it is increasingly being used in developing countries like China and India.
- Bead wire
Bead wire comprises of beads that are made up of high tensile strength steel wire enclosed in a rubber compound. They are further coated with alloys like brass or bronze which improves its inflexible and inelastic nature. This enhances the mechanical strength to fit the tire to the wheel.
Author: Jui Pande
Sr. Content Writer and Editor, Inkwood Research