You probably think that tires are a simple part in car that makes it move. In some way this is tru but there is much more behind what you know about traditional tires. Very few people know the history of tire manufacturing and design. This article is dedicated to highlighting the most interesting and incredible facts about car tires that you might not know.
Fun facts about car tires
- The early cars used “artillery wheels”. The tire in such wheels was literally bolted to the wheel. Just imagine how hard it would be to change such tires, if manufacturers produced something similar these days.
- Modern tires are purely black and drivers can “play” with rims, choosing golden or silver rims. When first tires were manufactured, they were white. Manufacturers added zinc oxide to the rubber in order to make it stronger and better but it had a strange effect. It made tires bright white.
- Later, in the second decade of the 21 st century, tire manufacturers obliged their engineers and designers to find a way to extend wear period of tires and increase their durability. Researchers found a way – they added carbon black, which was a by-product of petroleum industry but became a saving tool. It really increased durability but turned tires into black.
- But who came up with carbon black at the very beginning? Binney & Smith, famous for Crayola Crayons, sold carbon black to Goodrich tire manufacturer. The rest, how white tires became white, you alreadt know.
- You have probably heard about Vogue Tire and Rubber company, which has been manufacturing tires for over 100 years. A famous Vogue Tire - is a high-end luxury tire – is a product of Vogue Tire and Rubber company. It is interesting to know that originally whitewall tire was invented almost accidentally. Carbon black was tread was melded with zinc white sidewall, which resulted in invention of whitewall tire in 1914.
- Long time ago whitewalls were on both sidewalls of the tire. At that time cars were designed with open fenders. In such a way, people at the street could see both sides of tires as the car was driving by.
- Raised white letter tires are produced in the same design or, let’s say, fashion as whitewalls. An extra step covers the sidewall with black, then grinds the rubber off the letters to the white how through.
- Goodyear company, which is a well-known manufacturer of tires on the world market, like experiments. Thus, in 1961 the manufacturer was experimenting with illuminated tires. It was not a trend back then and nobody could predict it would become popular. Tires were lit from the inside by glass incandescent and had nice soft glowing. As you understand, these tires have never left the market since then.
- The majority of drivers like run-flat tires because they allow you to driver without air and get to the nearest mechanic. These tires have certain drawbacks because they have thicker sidewalls but, despite this, BMW installs these tires on all its cars.
- Just imagine that around 300 million of tires are discarded yearly. There are different ways of tires recycling. Some recycling companies melt the rubber and use for asphalt, others shred it or event make new tires from them. If you have a pair of old tires, you can paint them in bright colors and use as a decoration for your garden.
- Modern cars are not sold with spare tires. Car manufacturers want to shed weight and sell new cars with a patch kit and a can of compressed air.
- Everyone loves Mini Cooper because it is nice and stylish. The classic car comes with 165-millimeter wide tire. The new one Clubman comes with 225-millimeter tire, which is wrapped around a wheel of 18 inches.
- If you have ever been surprised to see unusual speed ratings in miles, you will get an explanation. The thing is that speed ratings traditionally are set in kilometers. When being converted to miles, they become unequal, for example, Q: 99 mph.
- The Space Shuttles also have wheels and tires. They usually have the size of 18-wheeler but with very different characteristics. Therefore, the Space Shuttle wheel can support up to 140,000 pounds at a speed 260 mph.
- Michelin manufacturer also like to experiment and improve its products. The company is working on developing “tweel”, which is a one-piece airless tire and wheel. A new tire will provide possibility of no flat tires and eliminate the need of replaceable treads.
- The list of well-know and reputable tire manufacturers is very long and includes companies such as Michelin, Goodyear, Nokian, Intercontinental, Pirelli, etc. There are tire manufacturer all over the world but none of the above-mentioned companies produces that many tires like company in Denmark, the homeland of Hans Christian Anderson. You will be surprised to hear that this is Lego. Yes, the same company that produces Lego constructor for children. The company was established in 1932, and began tire production for its building block sets thirty years later. In 2011 the tire production reached 318 million. Van you imagine?
- Tires have two speed ratings indicated in Z and Y. Originally, Z rating was introduced first and its speed rating was around 149 mph+. Later, the technology made manufacturers to re-consider alphabet apple cart and create rating for tires with higher performance. This is how Y rated was introduced.
- The largest tire on the planet is located in Allen Park , Michigan, US. It is tower of around 12 tons and 800 foot. First, it was introduced to public as a Ferris Wheel at World Fair in 1965 but later moved to Allen Park. It is a thing worth seeing so do not miss the opportunity once you are in Michigan.
These facts have definitely changed your idea of traditional tires. Now you know that the history of tire production is long and incredible.