Tire Components

Tire Components

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Innerliner
The innerliner is a thin, specially formulated compound, usually made of halobutyl rubber compounded with additives. It is placed on the inner surface of tubeless tires to improve air retention by lowering permeation outwards through the tire. The inner liner assures that the tire will hold high-pressure air inside, without the air gradually diffusing through the rubber structure

 

Body ply skim
Body ply skim is the rubber coating that encapsulates the radial ply reinforcing cords. The skim is calendered onto the body ply cords in thin sheets, cut to width, and spliced end to-end into a roll.

Body plies
Body plies of cord and rubber skim wrap around the bead wire bundle, pass radially across the tire and wrap around the bead bundle on the opposite side. They provide the strength to contain the air pressure and provide for sidewall impact resistance. The tire example shown has one body ply. In larger sizes, two body plies are typically used.

Bead bundles
Individual bronze plated bead wires are rubber coated and then wound into a bundle of specified diameter and configuration prior to tire assembly. The bead bundles serve to anchor the inflated tire to the wheel rim

Abrasion gum strip
Abrasion gum strips provide a layer of rubber between the body plies and the wheel rim for resistance against chafing. The airtight seal between the tire and rim must be maintained under all operating conditions. This component is also known as a gum chafer or gum toe guard.
Bead filler
Bead filler (also known as the apex) is applied on top of the bead bundles to fill the void between the inner body plies and the turned-up body ply ends on the outside. Varying the bead filler height and hardness affects tire ride and handling characteristics.

Sidewall
Tire sidewall rubber serves to protect the body plies from abrasion, impact and flex fatigue. The sidewalls also carry decorative treatments, sometimes including white or colored stripes or letters. The rubber compound is formulated to resist cracking due to environmental hazards such as ozone, oxygen, UV radiation and heat.

Sidewall reinforcements
Some tires feature lower sidewall reinforcements to improve handling or stability. These items are known as chippers, flippers or a floating reinforcement. Also, many run-flat constructions feature full sidewall thick rubber or other reinforcements to help support the load when the inflation pressure is low or zero.
Stabilizer ply skim (belt skim)
Belt skim is the rubber coating for the brass plated steel cords. The skim is calendered or extruded onto the steel cord in sheets, which are cut to width on an angle and then spliced into continuous rolls for tire assembly. Belt skim is primarily formulated to resist fatigue and tear.
Stabilizer plies (belts)
Two steel belts are applied at opposite angles to one another on top of the body plies, under the tread area. They restrict expansion of the body ply cords, stabilize the tread area and provide impact resistance. Varying the belt widths and belt angles affects vehicle ride and handling characteristics. Alternate belt constructions with materials other than steel, with three or more belts, or with woven materials have also been utilized.

Belt wedges
Small strips of belt skim or other fatigue resistant compounds are sometimes placed between the belts near the edge of the top belt. The purpose is to reduce the interply shear at the belt edge as the tire rolls and deflects.

Shoulder inserts
Shoulder inserts are small, sometimes contoured strips of rubber placed on the body ply, under the belt ends. They help maintain a smooth belt contour and insulate the body plies from the belt edges.

Tread
The tread must provide the necessary grip or traction for driving, braking and cornering, and the tread compound is specially formulated to provide a balance between wear, traction, handling and rolling resistance.

A pattern is molded into the tread during vulcanization or curing. It is designed to provide uniform wear, to channel water out of the footprint, and to minimize pattern noise on a variety of road surfaces.

Both the tread compound and the tread design must perform effectively in a multitude of driving conditions, including wet, dry or snow covered surfaces, while also meeting customer expectations for acceptable wear resistance, low noise, and good ride quality. For driving in severe winter conditions, snow tires with increased tread depth and specially formulated tread compounds are recommended.

Subtread
The subtread, if used, is typically a lower hysteresis, cooler-running compound extruded under the tread compound to improve rolling resistance in order to meet the OE vehicle manufacturers’ goals for fuel economy. It also can be used to fine-tune ride quality, noise, and handling.

Undertread
The undertread is a thin layer of rubber placed under the extruded tread/subtread package to boost adhesion of the tread to the stablilizer plies during tire assembly and to cover the ends of the cut belts.

Nylon cap plies/cap strips
Higher speed rated tires may feature a full-width nylon cap ply or plies, sometimes called an overlay, wrapped circumferentially on top of the stabilizer plies (belts) to further restrict expansion from centrifugal forces during high speed operation. Nylon cap strips are used in some constructions but cover only the belt edges.

 

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