Why are Tires Black?
With so many colors in the world, do you ever wonder why tires are always just plain black?
Did you know the original color of rubber is white?
Well, if you are curious to know the answer to this question, then yes, you are in the right place.
Pay special attention while reading as this article will help you explain the answer to this question (Why are Tires Black?) to others as well.
The tires are initially white in color. The rubber from which a tire is made is milky white. If this is the case, many of you wonder how a tire ends up being black. The answer is that the original substance is not strong enough to bear the weight of a vehicle or perform the functions of a tire.
Table of Contents
- Tire History
- Why are Tires Black?
- How does carbon black help?
Tires have been around for a very long time, and over the decades, they have gone through numerous 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 tires were invented. Since the original color of rubber is milky white, these tires were white. So, those black tires that you see today were originally white.
Why are Tires Black?
In the 1880s, when cars were invented, they had white rubber tires on them more than a century ago. As automobiles started developing more and more, it was found that the white rubber tires could not provide the required durability. As a result, tire manufacturers began adding soot to the tire compounds to improve the lifespan of the tires. Research into tire building claimed soot to increase the longevity of tires. Along with this, cotton threads, also known as tire cords, were inserted in a parallel fashion. This increased the tire structure strength and reduced heat.
Years later, automotive innovations increased, vehicles became more modern, and so did tire technology. A new compound, carbon black, was found, which dramatically improved the tires’ durability. Soot that was used earlier was replaced by carbon black. So, the critical reason Why are Tires Black is the chemical compound called carbon black. Now, black tires are easier to clean. Imagine trying to keep white tires clean. Impossible! But, camouflaging dirt isn’t the reason manufacturers add the chemical compound carbon black to their products. Carbon black in tires makes them stronger. Let’s learn how!
How does carbon black actually help?
Carbon black significantly increases the tires’ stiffness and strength when combined with the other polymers used to manufacture a tire. Strength, durability, handling, and wear are seen as the most desirable traits by car drivers and tire makers. Carbon black achieves this by conducting heat away from the tires, especially the tires treads, which tend to become extremely hot while driving.
Ozone, when in contact with UV rays, reacts vigorously and can destroy the rubber polymers. Carbon black shields the tires from UV light and ozone. Thus, maintaining their quality and increasing the life expectancy. Without this chemical, the heat created by the ozone-UV reaction can melt the rubber.
Next, carbon black improves the safety. Tire tread is something that helps the tire to grip the road. Carbon black that is used in creating the tread dramatically reduces the speed at which the tread wears. As a result, the tires have improved traction. Having strong, grippier tires means increased safety.
Tires could be considered as an essential 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 tires are the most popular manufactured ones due to the increased safety and durability that they provide. Yet another visual plus is that black color goes with almost everything.
In a nutshell, the end result of this discussion is that car tires are black because of the addition of carbon black. So it is a good thing because the cleaning gets more comfortable this way, along with the increased strength and durability. So, now the next time someone asks you Why are Tires Black? You will indeed have an answer to give to them!