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Development of Tyres
Have you ever wondered how tyres are made? Your tyres are the only grip and contact between your car and the road; they allow safe and controlled manoeuvrability of your vehicle and you want them to provide you with a comfortable and smooth drive, but you also want them to last and be hard wearing.

There's a lot more thought and technology that goes into making a tyre than most people think. With new tyre technologies and design ideas always developing, Suspension manufacturers are constantly trying to push the boundaries of what they can achieve to optimise performance and durability, and make tyres more economical or environmentally friendly.

Most people assume tyres are just made from rubber and filled with air; very few know about the complex structure and different materials used to make them. Some components are apparent like the tread and sidewall, but there are others that are hidden inside the tyre or the rubber compound itself.

Nowadays, tube tyres are a thing of the past, and modern tyres come with a tube fixed to the inside called the inner lining. The sidewall helps makes it rigid and protects the carcass, this in turn improves the ride quality. Generally speaking, a tyre with a larger sidewall tyre is more comfortable than a low-profile one as it has more flex in the sidewall and hence absorbs the road imperfections better.

The tread is the part of the tyre that makes contact with the road, and there are many different tread designs to bring different benefits to a vehicle's grip and handling. A tyre manufacturer's objective is to create a tread design that will give better grip in all weather conditions and cope with the demands and stresses that are put on the tyre in all driving conditions.The bead is what secures the tyre to the rim, made up of a beaded wire and rubber core.

Steel wire or a textile fabric makes up the belt, and its main job is to reinforce the structure, protecting it from impacts sustained on the road. A tyre needs to offer good heat dispersal and to allow this to happen each tyre has an edge of rubber on both sides, known as the shoulder.

The tyre carcass has to resist the stresses caused by the constant pressures placed on it by the forces that occur in acceleration, braking and changing direction. For this, the inner cord must support the weight and absorb impact. The chafer is the lining between the tyre and the rim and protects the cord as it appears on the rim wheel.

There are also several different specialty tyres that have been developed to solve specific issues or problems that motorists face:

Run Flat Tyres

There are two different ways of designing a run flat tyre. The simplest is a rim clip, which is simply a rubber clip that stops the tyre rim piercing a hole in your tyre if it goes flat. A slightly more complex version has Reinforced Tyre Sidewalls (RTS). This is a device that fits around the metal rim of your tyre and is able to support the weight of your car, even if the tyres run flat as you drive. This greatly reduces your risk of an accident caused by a flat tyre.

Eco Tyres

Eco tyres are designed with fuel consumption reduction in mind, and are built to help the environment and save you money without reducing the overall performance of your car. They aim to reduce the resistance between the tyre and the road, and this means you have to use less fuel to get you moving smoothly. This does however mean you're reducing safety in wet or slippery conditions. However, modern low resistance tyres have a silica compound in the tread to make the tyre absorb more resistance from the road without compromising on grip quality. Estimates on the use of an eco tyre indicate that you could end up saving around £65 a year!

Nitrogen Filled Tyres

Nitrogen is an option that not many of us would think about putting in our tyres to keep them inflated, but it's what racers and aviation officials have been using for years! By mixing nitrogen with the oxygen in your tyres you are limiting how much oxygen seeps out of your Budget tyres as you drive, which effectively slows down the process of deflation, reducing the risk of driving with a flat Brake Pads and the amount of maintenance required in the checking of your tyre pressures.

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