Have you ever wondered why all of your vehicle tyres are black?
Why are some things coloured the way they are? You can have your car in various exciting colours, then why not their tyres? Did you know the original colour of the rubber is white? Then why tyres are black? The reason is more than just cosmetics.
Tyres have been around for a very long time and over the decades they have gone through innumerable changes owing to innovation and technology. It began with wooden wheels, then came the metal ones and then a little advancement to this was bands of iron placed on the wooden wheels for stability. Then, in 1895 the first rubber tyres were invented. Since the original colour of rubber is milky white these tyres were white. So, those black tyres that you see today were originally white.
Why Black Tyres?
More than a century ago in the 1880s when cars were invented, they had white rubber tyres on them. As automobiles started developing more and more it was found that the white rubber tyres weren’t able to provide the required durability. As a result, tyre manufacturer’s began adding soot to the tyre compounds to improve the lifespan of the tyres. Research into tyre building claimed soot to increase the longevity of tyres. Along with these cotton threads also known as tyres, cords were inserted in a parallel fashion. This increased the tyre structure strength and reduced heat.
Years later, automotive innovations increased, vehicles became more modern and so did tyre technology. A new compound of carbon black was found which proved to dramatically improve the durability of the tyres. Soot that was used earlier was replaced by carbon black. So, the key reason why the tyre colour is black is the chemical compound called carbon black. Now, black tyres are definitely easier to clean. Imagine trying to keep white tyres clean. Impossible! But, camouflaging dirt isn’t the reason manufacturers add the chemical compound carbon black to their products. Carbon black in tyres makes them stronger. Let’s learn how!
How does carbon black actually help?
Carbon black significantly increases the stiffness and the strength of the tyres when combined with the other polymers used to manufacture a tyre. Strength, durability, handling and wear are seen as the most desirable traits by car drivers and tyre makers. The manner in which carbon black achieves this is by conducting heat away from the tyres especially the tyres treads which tends to become extremely hot while driving.
Next, carbon black improves safety. Tyre tread is something that helps the tyre to grip the road. Carbon black that is used in creating the tread greatly reduces the speed at which the tread wears. As a result, the tyres have improved traction. Having tyres with a strong grip means increased safety.
Yet another visual plus is that black colour goes with almost everything.
Tyres could be considered the most important part of your vehicle as they affect almost every performance factor from handling and acceleration to braking and ride comfort. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that black tyres are the most popular manufactured ones due to the increased safety and durability that they provide.