A genuine high-quality tyre is a whole lot more than a piece of rubber; the result of meticulous development and thorough testing, it is a carefully prepared high-tech product involving a great degree of manual labor, chemical and technical expertise, precision and high-quality unprocessed materials. No surprise then, that it takes from two to four years of development work before a new tyre hits the street.

Tyre Maintenance

Tyres are easily the most important safety accessory on your car: they are the connection between you and the road surface. Tyres will greatly affect safety and driving comfort. Ensure that your tyres in pretty good shape and remember to maintain them.

sidewall tyre markings

Sidewall markings

Tyre size is easily the most important information given on the tyre. The size designation is specified as a series of letters and numbers, for instance, 205/55 R 16 94 V XL, where:

The speed rating shows the maximum continuous driving speed capability of the tyre. The speed rating to be selected depends upon the make and model of car. Utilize tyres with speed ratings that are too low can affect the driving qualities and tyres with speed ratings that are too high may reduce driving comfort.

EU tyre label

Safety, savings and environmental efficiency

Starting in November 2012, buying new tyres in the European Union will be simplified due to the new tyre labels that resemble the energy labels for household appliances. The labels will guide consumers towards acquiring tyres that are of better and, therefore, safer. In the future, the classifications will be clearly visible in all tyre-related materials and at points of sale.

off road tyres

More air in your winter tyres

For summer tyres, we recommend using the vehicle manufacturer’s suggested tyre pressure. For winter tyres, you should inflate the tyres to 0.2 bar above the summer tyre recommendation.

Example: The temperature in the garage is +20 ˚C, while the outside temperature is -10 ˚ C à If the pressure is adjusted in the garage, the pressure added to the tyres must be 30 kPa (0.3 bar) above the recommended value to ensure a correct pressure level outside.  More safety and longer life span

In addition to correct tyre pressure, drivers should also ensure that uni-directional tyres are correctly installed on the car. The arrow on the sidewall indicates the rolling direction.

To prolong the lifetime of the tyres, front and rear tyres could be changed from one axle to another every 5,000– 10,000 kilometres. Thus, the tyres will wear evenly and show smaller differences in wear.

Tyres marked M+S (intended for winter use) should be carefully broken in. For the first 500 kilometres (310 miles), avoid sudden acceleration and braking. A gentle break-in improves the durability of studding: the studs will fit securely into place and remain on the tyres.

race car tyre

Production process

Raw materials
The main unprocessed materials of a tyre are natural rubber, synthetic rubber, carbon black and oil. The share of rubber compounds in the total weight of a tyre is over 80%. The rest contains various variety of reinforcing materials.

Approximately half of the rubber is natural rubber from a rubber tree. Rubber trees are grown in the tropics, in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. Much of the synthetic, oil-based rubbers originate from European manufacturers.

The most important of these is carbon black which makes the tyres black in colour. Hardening or vulcanising agents, various booster chemicals and protective agents are used in the rubber compounds.

Mixing
In the mixing stage, the raw materials are mixed together and heated at a temperature of approximately 120 degrees Celsius.

The consistency of the rubber compounds used in different parts of a tyre varies, and the consistency also varies relying on the intended use and model of the tyre. The rubber compound used in a summer tyre for a passenger vehicle is different from that of a winter tyre.

Developing and adjusting the compounds is a vital part of the tyre development work.

tyre manufacuring

Component manufacturing

The compounds are used in rubberising various components, like cables, textiles or steel belts. A tyre is manufactured from 10– 30 different components.

A lot of the components are various type of reinforcements.

Assembly

Tyre makers assemble the components into green tyres using assembly machinery.

When the components have been drawn onto the belt drum of an assembly machine and the frame of a tyre has been set on the bulkheads of the stretching machine, the machine’s loading wheel transfers the unity formed by the surface and the belt onto the frame.

The frame is then pressurised and stretched to fuse with the prior unity. This is how a green tyre is manufactured.

Vulcanising

The high steam pressure conducted into the curing pad inside the curing press presses the elastic green tyre against the tread pattern and side texts inside the moulds, giving the tyre its final look.

Inspection

Each passenger vehicle tyre is inspected both visually and by a machine.

Attention is paid to any faults and defects with the appearance of the tyre in the visual inspection. The machine measures the pattern and also radial throw and lateral force variation of the tyre.

When a tyre has been inspected, it will be tested, labelled and transferred to the warehouse for delivery.

The use of tyres with speed ratings that are too low can affect the driving qualities and tyres with speed ratings that are too high may reduce driving comfort.

Starting in November 2012, buying new tyres in the European Union will be made easier by the new tyre labels that are similar to the energy labels for household appliances. For summer tyres, we recommend using the vehicle manufacturer’s suggested tyre pressure. For winter tyres, you should inflate the tyres to 0.2 bar above the summer tyre recommendation. The main raw materials of a tyre are natural rubber, synthetic rubber, carbon black and oil.