10 Things You Don't Know About Tires



Did you know that it was not until the early nineteenth century when natural rubber was first used to coat the wooden or steel wheels that existed? The invention of the tire was a real revolution for the car industry, to the point that today it is unimaginable to think of a vehicle that does not have one attached to its wheels.

But around them, there are a lot of curiosities that, surely, you did not know. These are ten that are sure to get your attention before you buy car tyre.

Its origin: the word 'tire' has its origin in the phrase "relative to air", which refers to a Greek term "pneumatikós". It derives from the word "pneuma", which means breath or breath.

The first tires were not black: it is due to the very nature of rubber, which is light in color. The problem was that they got very dirty and were not very resistant. Over time they added carbon black which, in addition to obscuring the tire, made them more durable.

To manufacture a tire, more than 200 components are needed: although they seem simple, a single tire is made up of about 200 different types of components, each with its characteristic properties, and more than 30 different types of rubber.

The tires accumulate static electricity: this happens when a lot of silicon oxide is used for its manufacture, since this decreases the level of connectivity. To avoid this, they usually use a thin rubber strip (zebra stripe) on the tread to improve conductivity.

The largest wheels in the world weigh more than 5,000 kg: they are the ones carrying the huge trucks dedicated to mining. Its height can reach 4 meters and its weight, exceed 5,000 kilos. Each of them can support a weight of up to 100 tons.

The tires consume between 20-35% of the fuel that a car spends: in the movement of a vehicle there are multiple resistance forces that represent an increase of between 20 and 35% of energy expenditure by the vehicle. For this reason, technological development is essential to manufacture increasingly efficient tires.

Spain is one of the 10 largest exporters in the world: According to the latest available data (2017), the value of its new tire exports exceeds 2,000 million dollars. China, Germany, Japan, and the United States top a list whose total volume is around 75,000 million dollars.

What is done with used tires? In Spain, as in many other countries, all tires out of use, also known as NFU, are reused or recycled to control their environmental impact.

What do the numbers on the tires mean? Surely you have often wondered what those "codes" mean on all tires. Well, these codes specify its dimensions and some of its key limitations, such as its load capacity or maximum speed. With the passage of time, they have been gaining complexity to the point of indicating data such as traction, wear or temperature of use.

The largest producer in the world is not an automobile company: finally, incredible as it may seem, the largest producer of tires is not a company dedicated to the automotive sector but is one of the toys: LEGO. This company produces about 306 million small tires every year.