How are tyres made?
Updated 10 Oct 2019
We all know what tyres are and what they do but, understandably, most of us don’t really know how tyres are made. The process of making a tyre is quite complex and specific, and contains multiple steps in order to make that perfect, grippy tyre.
There are five key steps in the tyre manufacturing process and all are vital to ensure that the tyres do their job the way they’re supposed to.
Tyres can contain up to 30 different kinds of rubber, filler and a variety of other elements. Once these ‘ingredients’ are collected, they’re placed inside what is essentially a giant blender where they’re mixed up into a black sticky compound that can be sent to the mill.
After blending, the rubber compound mix is cooled so it can go to the mill and be cut into strips. These strips will end up forming the basic structure of the tyre. Preparation of other parts of the tyre is also done at this stage.
The name says it all. Once all the different parts are ready, the tyre needs to be put together. This is done starting from the inside and working out. All the different parts such as textile elements, steel belts, tread, ply and beads are put inside a tyre-building machine. Once this stage is over, the tyre should begin to start looking like a tyre. But it’s not quite ready yet.
The curing process involves vulcanising the tyre with hot moulds in something called a curing press. This compresses all the parts together and is what gives the tyre its final shape, tread pattern and all the letters, numbers and markings on the sidewall.
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The final step in the process involves inspecting the tyre. This requires a trained professional using special machinery to check each tyre for any imperfection before it gets shipped out. It also involves removing a selection of tyres from the batch and putting them through an x-ray machine to make sure there are no internal weaknesses. Some tyre brands will also randomly select tyres to cut open in order to visually inspect them, ensuring they meet their standards.
So now you know that a great deal of work and quality control goes into making each and every tyre. Tyres are extremely important - we couldn’t go anywhere without them - so understanding them a little more can never hurt.
On weekdays Rowan can be found in the AutoGuru office, driving content and growth with the rest of the marketing team.
On weekends you’ll probably find him in the garage with his father restoring a 1958 Ford Star Model Customline or enjoying a cruise through the Gold Coast hinterland on his Suzuki GSX-R600.
Despite his passion for being behind the wheel (or handlebars), he looks forward to the day when he can commute to work in his own driverless car.