We all want to know what ingredients are in our food, where it’s grown, how it’s been processed, and how it’s been cooked but have you ever stopped to think about what is in your tires, where they are manufactured, how they’re built, and how they get to your local Integra Tire?
We’ve solved the mystery here:
What is a tire made of?
As you know, tires are made of rubber but did you know that there are four types of rubbers?
Natural Rubber is made of polymers from the organic compound, isoprene. Yes, we said organic!
Styrene-butadiene Rubber is made up of styrene (organic compound) and butadiene (industrial chemical).
Polybutadiene Rubber is made up of the synthetic compounds of butadiene.
Butyl Rubber is made up of the synthetic compounds of isoprene.
Natural rubber, Styrene-butadiene Rubber, and Polybutadiene Rubber are usually used to create the tread and sidewall of a tire. Butyl Rubber is usually used for the inside of a tire that holds the air. Yes, these are big words but the bigger the word, the more important the substance is!
Tires are also composed of fillers – usually silica or carbon black, as well as anti-oxidants, anti-ozonants, and anti-aging agents. Yes, even your tires need anti-aging chemicals!
Next, all of these compounds are mixed together. 200 kg of rubber compound is put into a mixing machine that breaks down each component so they can all blend together – like a giant KitchenAid mixer.
Then the compounds are laid out on a sheet called a slap. The slap preps the rubber for the next processes:
Fabric or steel cords are put into the rubber so that they can strengthen it.
The inner liner – where the air is held – is added to the rubber.
Steel wire called the bead wire loop is added to help the tire lock on to the wheel assembly.
The rubber is put through an extruder where it is heated, blended, and pressurized. Finally, the rubber is shaped under pressure.
After the rubber is properly molded and shaped, a robot builds the entire tire.
Once the tire is built, chemicals are added to cure the rubber to mold and shape it into its proper tread and sidewall pattern.
Finally, the tire is inspected to ensure there are no flaws.
Last but not least, the tire is placed into the warehouse where it can be shipped to Integra Tire across Canada!