Why are Tires Black?
You may wonder why almost all car tires are coloured black. It is an interesting question, and many of us accept it for what it is.
An automotive tire can be purple, orange, red, etc., but why are they dominantly black? We don't even consider the colour when we buy a new set of tires. We'll talk about a crucial matter that makes them black.
Carbon black is the main material that makes tires black. It does not only give the tire its colour but there are many more reasons why this material is used for tires. This material is a global commodity used in a lot of industries. It consists mainly of carbon and is a byproduct of various petroleum products.
While also giving tires durability and resistance to wear because of their composition. It mostly has a reinforcing filler to help the tire have a long tread life.
Learn everything you need to know about why tires are black here.
Origins of Black Tires
Originally, tires are not coloured black. Around a hundred years ago, tires were coloured white. That is because manufactured rubber has a colour of milky white. You might ask, how did all of the tires become black?
The original material used about a hundred years ago did not perform efficiently on roads and was not enough to support the weight of a vehicle. The discovery of needing a stabilising agent helped boost the tire's longevity and strength. Carbon black was added to the original rubber's milky white colour turning the tire to a deep black colour.
Carbon black is not just for the tire's durability and strength, but it also protects automobiles. This fantastic material can help dissipate heat away from all parts of the vehicle. Even if the roads are blazingly hot from the sun and there's friction from all cars passing by, car tires do not deform and melt. Your car tire must be in top condition as it is the only part that connects your vehicle to the road. It also has safety features that no part of your car can do.
Components of Car Tires
Tires are a mix of rubber compounds. Tire manufacturers focus on durability, road contact, and performance. They must use a good combination of polymers, carbon black, and natural rubber to ensure sufficient grip, strength and durability. Manufacturers also add strong belt areas around the tire to provide a strong and reliable tensile strength. This feature is helpful when the car is cornering or is fully loaded, and the tire stretches. The components are essentially the same whether you have common black-coloured or white side-walled tires.
Importance of Using Carbon Black in Car Tires
Carbon black essentially changed automobile history. Its characteristics are unique and can't be replaced by another chemical or material. It maintains a tire's temperature and provides excellent handling, strength, durability, and increased lifespan. It dissipates heat away from the steel belts improving acceleration and braking performance.
When a car travels, static charge builds up and can lead to a shock. Carbon black prevents this situation from happening because it makes the tire electrically conductive. It also enables an automobile to withstand a lightning strike. If you've also ever had a white-walled tire, you'll know the frequent cleaning that goes with it. Whitewall tires easily catch dirt and debris and can easily be discoloured.
A black tire has less maintenance to keep them looking fresh. A little tire black, and it is good to go. Black tires also retain their classic new look on any vehicle on the road.
How the Colour Black Protects Tires from UV Damage
UV rays can damage our tires when we use our cars every day or park under the sun. UV light constantly shines on our vehicles and is detrimental to our automobiles. It can dry and cause cracks on the tire's surface. Rubber needs some moisture to function and hold its structure. Sun-damaged tires often have hairline cracks on the tread and sidewall areas - tires damaged by UV rays are called "Dry Rot". Dry rot significantly reduces the tire's lifespan and makes it unsafe. Carbon black helps prevent UV ray damage through heat dissipation.
We don't think much about the colour of our tires. Yet, black offers so much in unexpected ways in the functionality of tires. Hopefully, this sheds light on an uncommon question that you can easily answer others about if the situation presents itself!