Why Tyres Around the World Are Black



There are things we take for granted such that cars have four wheels or that the wheels of cars have always been black. Well, in reality neither of the two statements is correct and we are going to explain why the tyres used by most cars are black.

Current tyres are a complex industrial product composed of a series of chemical elements that combine to achieve the best performance in terms of both grip and performance and durability.

Among the characteristics of rubber is not to have a black color. Not even rubber has a dark tone and only depending on the type of rubber can we find a brown color, far from black.

The truth is that the wheels of the cars were not always black because of precisely the rubber. The first cars were wearing tyres that have nothing to do with those that are used now neither in their structure, nor in their composition, much less in their color.

And why are the wheels of the cars black if the rubber is not black?
The tyre as a rubber coating on a wooden structure was used for the first time in the early nineteenth century and later it was not until 1883 when Charles Goodyear invented the vulcanization process as a great qualitative leap in terms of strength for solid tyres using heat and pressure to mix rubber and sulfur.

With the arrival of the car, these wheels underwent an evolution parallel to cars since both the machines that moved self-propelled and the wheels they needed to move were still in a very primitive state during the first years of the twentieth century.

The predecessors of the current tyres were white or almost white because their composition was very basic. The explosion of the car as a means of common transport took place with the arrival of the Ford Model T left the Detroit plant in 1908, and its appearance was footwear with cream-colored tyres. Thus, in some historical car museums where the jewels of the automotive industry rest after more than a century of life, we can continue to find white tyres.

It was not until 1917 when the next major advance in the history of tyres was introduced with the incorporation of carbon black. This material is a fine powder that is achieved as a result of incomplete combustion of petroleum derivatives.

By adding carbon black to rubber and other elements necessary for the process of making a tyre, the properties of the resulting wheels are significantly higher. The resistance to abrasion and wear multiplied by 10 compared to the tyres of the beginning of the century. Since then the tyres have not stopped being black.

In the distribution of ingredients, carbon black charges between 25 and 30% of the prominence and that is why the brand tyres of the cars are black, but they are also more resistant to the passage of kilometers and have a better grip as this pigment helps spread the working temperature throughout the tyre.