How Are Rubber Tyres Made?

There are a lot of different ways that rubber is created and constructed, but the basics of how rubber is made can be explained in one of two ways. In either case, the process begins with vulcanization – where liquid rubber is transformed into a solid form by heating it at temperatures close to the melting point of rubber and turning it into a usable material. The materials used to make this transformation are sand and sulfur, and after vulcanization, the resulting solid rubber is shaped and moulded into the basic type design. For Rubber Mouldings, go to Meadex

tires in a tire yard

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From here, the process of making rubber tyres begins to alter from the traditional baking methods used to shape metal and other solid materials into a liquid that can be shaped into any shape. Instead, vulcanized rubber is formed into a solid form through a chemical process called injection moulding. The rubber material is injected into a heated drum containing molten tin – where it is heated even more and tin crystallizes into tiny bubbles that are injected into the rubber soles of the tyre. The bubbles expand, creating a solid structure that is then shaped into the basic tyre profile.

Close up of the front right tyre of a nondescript blue car

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Finally, once the rubber has been formed into the correct shape, it is then shaped further by a process called hydroforming. This process involves forcefully heating the rubber, which changes its molecular structure, into a particular shape, such as a flattened triangle or a flattened circle. Once this is done, the rubber is injected back into a heated drum again, where it shrinks once more into its new shape. The rubber used in modern car tyres is formulated this way and undergoes a series of processes to ensure that modern rubber is as durable and reliable as possible, no matter what kind of terrain the tyre is used on.


Author: Richard Brown

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