When shopping for tires, all the market specifications, jargon, and variables can become confusing, especially if it’s your first time.
Understanding what’s in your tire and the significance of all the parts and components is crucial for any car owner.
But do tires have metal in them? What’s the role of this metal? Here’s all you need to know.
Do Tires Have Metal In Them?
Almost all modern passenger car and light truck tires have steel belts under the tread. However, tires that aren’t meant for highway use, such as offroad vehicles, may or may not have these metal belts. To know if they have the steel, they’ll have a label stamped on the rubber indicating whether they are steel-belted or bias-ply, also known as polyester belting.
To learn more about which tires have metal in them, how to know and what other components are in a tire, read on for more information.
Why Do Tires Have Metal In Them?
In short, tires have various metal mesh and belt components to help the rubber tread be more rigid and keep its shape.
Surprisingly though, these metal components don’t add much value to the overall tires weight.
Additionally, by adding small amounts of metal cords to the rubber, the tire is also able to be more durable as it can withstand more rough surfaces.
Also, when comparing tires without metal in them, these have much shorter lifespans as they are more prone to punctures, blowouts, and warping.
How Much Metal Is In A Tire?
On average, 10% – 20% of the weight of an old passenger car tire consists of steel; therefore, during recycling, a shredding plant can produce about 100-200 MT of steel tire wire.
The quality of the metals can vary according to storing, technology, and management systems of the plant.
Additionally, the manufacturers add this metal to help with puncture control; therefore, it’s crucial for your car’s safety.
Parts of the tire, such as belt plies, are made of steel to help boost strength and stability.
What’s In A Tire?
Have you ever been curious about what makes up a tire? Now that we have established that most of them have metal in them, what other components are used to manufacture your set of tires.
According to Michelin, the tire-making process involves over 200 ingredients vital in ensuring fuel efficiency, safety, performance, and eco-friendliness.
Tire components by the company are divided into natural rubber, synthetic rubber, numerous chemical ingredients, carbon black and silica, and metallic and texture reinforcement cables.
When creating a tire, rubber is the primary material used, and it’s combined with an average of 200 different raw materials to make up a complete tire.
Apart from the metal, here are the other tire components.
Tire beads hold the tire to the rim, providing strength for it to stay seated on the rim and preventing the tire from sliding out of place once the wheel rolls.
These large steel cords are wound into a rubber band to boost their strength.
Bead fillers are the stiff and dense rubber compounds inside the tire’s beads that provide stability to the lower sidewall and helps to determine a tire’s performance characteristics.
If you need to get tire information, such as the width and diameter, speed rating, and date of manufacture, you check the sidewall.
Apart from holding these important details, the sidewall is a special rubber compound that adds flexibility and weather resistance to the tires.
Additionally, the sidewall helps keep the air from escaping and may contain additional components that help increase the lateral stability.
When looking at the tire body, it’s made up of several layers of different fabrics, known as plies, with the most common ply fabric been polyester cord.
Polyester is popular because it has good rubber adhesion, good ride characteristics, and excellent strength. It also exhibits heat dissipation characteristics.
However, manufacturers use nylon and rayon in some tires, which both exhibit slightly different benefits for specific tires.
During manufacturing, the cords can either run perpendicular to the tread or diagonally, where the fabric runs at an angle to the tread.
Plies are covered with rubber to ensure they blend well with other components to prevent air leakage.
Belt plies are installed to provide stability to the tire’s tread area and play a major role in improving the traction, tire mileage, and impact resistance.
Steel is used to make these belt plies and boost strength without necessarily adding a lot of weight to the tire.
Modern tires don’t come fitted with inner tubes; the air is held together within the tire walls by the inner liner, bead filler, and beads.
In place of the inner tube, manufacturers add a rubber compound that retains air under pressure without any cord reinforcement, known as an inner liner.
Tire casings are an essential part of the tire. In summary, this part is the tire’s body and holds some components from the bead, sidewall, inner liner, and body ply, except the belt system and tread.
Treads are one of the essential parts of driving safely; therefore, they are a priority for most tire manufacturers and buyers.
When driving, the tread is the part of the tire that comes into contact with the road surface, and that’s why it comes in different designs depending on the intended use of the tire.
Do Goodyear Tires Have Metal In Them?
When you analyze Goodyear’s tire manufacturing process, the company has a five-part process, where they blend, mill, build, cure and then inspect.
Goodyear brand of tires have metal in the form of steel in the belt and beads part to reinforce the tire’s strength, rigidity, and stability.
Do Bridgestone Tires Have Metal In Them?
Bridgestone tires also come fitted with metal in the belt system.
While this is fitted on the passenger and light truck tires, the latter will have an extra belt, stronger belt cords, extra casing, and a larger bead because they are designed to operate in more severe conditions.
Do Firestone Tires Have Metal In Them?
Like their competitors, these Firestone tires also have metal components in their build, which boost the tire’s strength.
Steel comes in handy in supporting other components to ensure that the tire performs optimally on the road.
Do Pirelli Tires Have Metal In Them?
Compared to other tire brands, Pirelli has patented tire technologies for its motorcycle tires to help boost performance.
With their tire technology, the company uses steel to reinforce the tire performance because steel has high rigidity that aligns with their tires.
Tires are made using different components, ensuring they have the right traction, strength, and performance.
Apart from rubber which is the most prominent material, most tire brands are also enhanced using metal to boost the strength and durability of the tire.
Most passenger and light truck tires are fitted with steel belts that help with performance without necessarily increasing the weight of the entire tire.
However, it’s more challenging to recycle modern tires because of the metal components than it was in earlier years.