Why Are Tyres Black?

All kinds of tyres, general tyres, specific tyres, high performance tyres, just name them; all tyres are black have you ever wonder as to the reason? Well, if you haven’t today you will. But you’ll also get an answer.

Before we delve in though, let’s see some very recent tires news. A report from a new study affecting drivers in the UAE, has found out that young drivers in the UAE are not very tyre safety conscious. According to a research done by world leading tyre manufacturer, Continental tyres, about 40% of young drivers ranging from ages 18 to 24 years have unsafe tyres.

The research was carried out on the Campus of American University in Dubai and the University of Dubai. Cars parked in the lot were tested. And they found out that these youngsters had a least one tyre which didn’t meet expert specifications. Some of the most popular issues were tyres with shallow tread, punctures and tears, and improper alignment.  This research was conducted by Continental, as they continue their Vision Zero, to bring to a total stop all manner of car accidents.

So back to where we were, why are tyres black?

Well, tyres are made up of several constituents; we’ll be seeing them and the roles they have to play, if any with the colouration of tyre.

Rubbers (natural rubber latex) which are the main constituents in tyre making come in a fluid, milky white in colour.  It is gotten from rubber trees.

The next we have synthetic rubber, this one is artificially, it helps to reduce the amount of natural rubbers used, and also it has heat resistance properties.

Oil: it helps to soften rubber.

Silica: This provides better fuel management properties; it also helps with gripping wet roads.

Sulfur: Provides better elasticity and flexibility for rubber.

Vulcanization Accelerator: rubbers when undergoing the process of becoming tyres, undergo a phenomenon called vulcanization. This basically is the process of creating crosslink between sulphur and rubber in the presence of a lot of heat. This is like the most important step in the making of tyres. This was the process that Charles Goodyear discovered which made tyre making the big industry it is today.

Carbon Black: This is used as a reinforcing agent, to strengthen rubber, so that the tyrs can withstand all the abuse that come to them.

Then we have the construction materials for the tyres too, these are Polyester, Rayon and Steel. Rayon and polyester in ued in making body ply of tyres, while steel is used in making steel belts and beads, which also serve as reinforcements for the tyres.

So how does tyre then become black? You probably guessed, carbon black is responsible. It is a very important part of tyre construction and it is used in copious quantities. Another reason, tyre is black is that it is just the practical thing to do. Tyre take a lot of abuse daily, they enter into places you won’t want to put your legs. So to make sure your tyres don’t look like a mismatch of dirty colours, they are made to be black. Tyres are for functionality majorly and has very little to do with aesthetics. If you want beautiful tyres though, your wheel can be played with as you want.

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