Do you know how your tyres are made, or what happens to them after use?
Read on below to learn about the lifecycle of a tyre, from factory, to store, to your car and beyond.
How tyres are made
The manufacturing journey of a tyre starts in a factory, where individual materials are combined to make the many components of a tyre, and then assembled and cured to create the finished product.
The first step in the creation of a tyre is the mixing process, where up to 30 different kinds of ingredients are combined to create a thick black compound. Materials mixed can include natural rubber, which is sourced from rubber trees in plantations, synthetic rubber, carbon black, sulfer and other chemical agents. The resulting rubber is formed into sheet strips for the next stage of mixing.
This rubber is mixed further, heated and then extruded and cut into lengths forming tread and sidewalls.
Fabric is weaved into cords, coated with rubber and cut to lengths forming the carcass ply material.
Steel Belt Production:
Individual steel cord filaments are wound together, coated with rubber and cut to lengths forming the steel belts.
Individual steel cord filaments are wound in a circle and coated with rubber forming the beads.
The tyre components, comprising of the rubber tread and sidewalls, steel belts, carcass ply and beads are assembled on an automated machine. The end result is a “green tyre,” that does not yet have the grooved pattern of tread.
All components are vulcanised together in a mould, which shapes the ‘green tyre’ into its final state, creating the sidewall markings and tread pattern.
The last step in the tyre manufacturing process is the careful inspection of the tyre, both by trained inspectors and specialised machines, to ensure the tyres are free of faults and ready to go on the road.
We source our tyres from a variety of factories internationally, for our network of stores around Australia.
Your tyres in action
The next stage in a tyre’s lifecycle is the time it spends on your car. To get the most value from your tyres, it’s important you look after them. Tyres that aren’t maintained will wear more rapidly, cause the vehicle to expend more fuel, and can compromise your vehicle’s braking and handling characteristics. Regular maintenance will make sure your tyres are safe to drive for longer, and save you additional trouble down the line.
Here are three ways to maximise the use of your tyres:
Check your tyre pressure, and correctly inflate your tyres.
Under and over inflated tyres result in an irregular footprint contacting the road, giving you less grip and wearing out faster. Check your tyre pressure at least every four weeks for best results.
Check for damage and tread depth.
Inspect your tyres, to make sure they’re free of cuts, tears, or bulges that could compromise the safety of the tyre, and that there’s no significant cracking of rubber in the tread grooves. You’ll also need to check the tread wear indicator bars on your tyre to make sure you still have enough tread. When the tyre is worn to the point where any of the bars become equal with the adjacent tread, it’s time to replace them.
Rotate your tyres.
Most cars will wear out the tyres in different positions at different rates. To combat this, and make sure your tyres wear evenly, tyres should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 km or at least every 6 months, even if there is no sign of uneven wear.
Get the most out of your new tyres with our exclusive Bridgestone Benefits program. Receive free tyre maintenance on qualifying tyre purchases to help maximise wear life and on-road safety. Click here to find out more.
After you’re done with your tyres
When your tyres are too worn out or damaged to continue on the road, then they reach the next stage in their lifecycle. If you’re wondering where to get rid of old tyres and rims, you can bring them into one of our Bridgestone stores for car tyre disposal.
Where possible, tyres dropped off at our stores are sent for car tyre recycling. Recycled tyres are transformed into a rubber crumb that can be reused for a wide variety of purposes, from brake pads, to building insulation, road surfaces, and even in playgrounds. Recycled tyres also mean less carbon emissions for a healthier climate.
Most of our stores use accredited members of the Australian Tyre Recycling Association to collect and recycle old tyres. Tyres collected this way are stored, recycled or disposed of in a way that’s ethical, environmentally, and authorised by the EPA.