In the light of our participation in the upcoming Tire Tech 2017 trade show where we will be presenting our Lyndcoat range of release agents, we have created an infographic to explain the different steps involved in the tire manufacturing process. Starting off with some key numbers, the infographic covers the entire process of tire manufacturing from raw materials and component preparation to assembly and vulcanization. It also explains the important role Elkem Silicones’ release agents play in the process.
Check out our infographic about tire manufacturing process
And that process goes like this:
A tire is a complex assembly of many elements and requires a wide range of raw materials, mainly natural rubber and chemicals, fabric and steel. The composition of these raw materials varies depending on the level of flexibility, resistance and grip needed.
Manufacturing starts on a drum or a rotating cylinder whose center is designed to inflate— we will see why later. First, a sheet of airtight synthetic rubber, which today replaces the inner tube used in the past, is applied to the drum. Next, a ply, or a rubber layer embedded with fabric cords, is added to form a reinforcement network known as the radial carcass. The bead wires are then installed, which are two high-resistant metal cable hoops that hold the tire on the rim. After, the casing plies are folded over the beads to anchor them. Finally, sidewalls made of flexible resistant rubber are then fitted to protect the tire from lateral damage.
Next up in the process comes inflation of the central section of the drum. Two plies reinforced with metal wires are installed to the crown of the tire at an angle with the casing ply to form a triangle. This triangle structure will prevent any deformations from occurring during the shaping process. Last to go on is the tread, which is the part of the tire in contact with the ground.
We now have a green tire that is ready to be cured. However, first the tire must be treated with a release agent in order to ensure it can be removed from the mold hassle-free.
Now in the mold, a bladder fills with pressurized air and pushes the green tire from its inside into the patterns engraved on the walls of the outside mold. With the rising temperature due to water steam, the rubber starts to cure or vulcanize. Sulfur in the rubber binds with the polymer chains and this reaction triggers the rubber to transform from a plastic state into an elastic state.
Once transformation is complete, all that is left to do is deflate the bladder, pop open the mold and slide out the finished tire easily, thanks to Lyndcoat tire release agents, like our new Lyndcoat BR1214.
Thanks to the ease of release and the slip promotion provided by our process aid the finished tire can roll off to successful quality control.
And that is how a tire is made— all in one infographic!