How tyres are made

What are Tyres Made Of?

Many different materials are used to make tyres. In fact, tyres can be made of up to 30 different kinds of rubber as well as other components such as textiles, steel, antioxidants and fillers. To combine these ingredients into high-performance Goodyear tyres that meet our strict quality criteria is a complex process that has taken many years of research and development. 

Car Tyre Materials

  • Rubber – Both natural and synthetic rubbers are used to form the core component of your car tyre. Rubber contains properties that help to provide slip resistance and elasticity in a tyre, which are two vital characteristics for high performance tyres.
  • Textiles – Fabrics such as rayon, nylon and polyester are used to reinforce the strength of a tyre, so it can support the weight of your vehicle. The fabrics are used as cords, which provide stability.
  • Steel – Steel is used in the form of steel belts and steel beads, which help to stiffen up the tyre and lock it to the wheel. The steel under the tread can also improve tyre wear performance and overall handling.
  • Antioxidants – To protect the rubber from exposure to oxygen and varying temperatures throughout the seasons, antioxidants are added to the materials used to make car tyres.
  • Fillers – Carbon black and silica are used to reinforce the strength of the tyre and to maximise the lifespan of your car tyres by reducing wear. 

Components of a Car Tyre

During the manufacturing process, the materials used to make tyres are formed into individual components which make up the overall structure of a car tyre. Each structural component plays a vital role in the performance of the tyre.

  • Tread – Tyre tread has one of the biggest impacts on the overall performance of the tyre. It is the soft outer area of the tyre which meets the road and provides grip on the road and reduces rolling resistance.
  • Beads – Made from high-strength steel, the beads help to connect your tyre to the wheel and secure it firmly in place with an airtight seal between your tyre and the rim of the wheel.
  • Sidewall – The sidewall is made of extra-thick rubber and forms the exterior wall of your tyre, providing lateral stability. It needs to be extra-thick to prevent damage. If your sidewall is damaged, you will likely need to replace the tyre rather than get it fixed. The sidewall also contains markings denoting manufacturer information about the tyre.
  • Shoulder – A tyre’s shoulder connects the tread to the sidewall and plays an important role in helping you take corners smoothly. Well designed and constructed tyre shoulders will help to provide excellent handling on the road.
  • Sipes and grooves – Sipes and deep grooves on the tread blocks improve aquaplaning resistance in the rain, dispersing water from underneath the tyre. They can also improve dispersion of snow, ice and mud as well as providing enhanced grip in wintry weather conditions. For this reason, you will see deeper grooves in the tread of all season tyres and winter tyres.
  • Ply – The plies are the layers of fabric that make up your tyre’s skeleton and helps to maintain the tyre’s shape, as well as giving it strength and flexibility.
  • Belt – Steel belts are positioned around the tyre to provide rigidity and reinforce strength. The belts also provide directional stability and help the tyre to retain its shape. Sometimes Kevlar cord is also added for extra strength, puncture resistance, and durability.

How Tyres Are Made

Each individual component of the tyre is produced in the factory throughout the manufacturing process – all coming together to produce the finished tyre. Initially, the raw materials (or ingredients) are blended and milled, before being built and cured into the tyre’s final shape. Every tyre is inspected before being approved to ensure they meet Goodyear’s standards. 


Tyre Manufacturing Process

1. Ingredients are Blended Together

Rubber, fillers, antioxidants and other ingredients blended together to create a black, gummy compound that will be sent on for milling.

2. The Tyre Compound is Milled to Form the Basic Structure of the Tyre

The compound of ingredients from step one is milled and then cooled, before being cut into strips to form the basic structure of the tyre itself. Other elements of the tyre are also prepared at this stage, such as the fabric cords and steel belts.

3. The Tyre is Built from the Inside Out

Using special machinery, the materials that make up the tyre are assembled into what is known as a ‘green tyre’. Starting from the inside, the casing is built first, followed by the tread, shoulder and sidewall. The tyre is now starting to look like the finished article.

4. The tyre is Cured (or Vulcanised)

Using hot moulds in a curing press, the green tyre is then vulcanised, compressing all the parts of the tyre together and giving the tyre its final shape. This includes its tread pattern and manufacturer’s sidewall markings. It is this process of curing which enhances the tyre’s flexibility and elasticity.

5. Quality Control Inspections

No tyre is finished without being inspected to meet Goodyear’s high standard. This is a task performed by trained inspectors using special machinery. Some tyres will also be pulled from the line to be checked by x-rays. Not only that, but Goodyear’s quality control engineers will also randomly select tyres off the line and cut them open to ensure they meet our high standards.

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