Why are car tires always black instead of other colors?

We all know that the main component of a tire is rubber, but why is the rubber white and yet the tire is black?


Why are car tires black?

In the early 20th century, tires were mainly made of iron. However, this type of tire had many limitations such as not being able to withstand high speeds, causing noise, low friction, quick wear and tear, and being stiff.

By 1895, the first rubber tire was born. Since it was made of natural rubber, these car tires were milky white.

However, manufacturers quickly realized that pure rubber tires were not durable and wore out quickly. Furthermore, the original tires would harden in cold weather and soften in hot weather, leading to quick damage and reduced safety.

Car tires are black to ensure durability.

Therefore, manufacturers started adding zinc oxide to enhance durability. Tire studs were also added to improve traction. With this technology, car tires remained white and appeared on many luxury cars.

However, when the war broke out, the world faced a zinc oxide shortage because it was used for ammunition. In this situation, tire manufacturers used carbon black as a substitute, which turned out to be an excellent component still used today.

Tires using carbon black were discovered by Sidney Charles Mote and a group of scientists in England in 1904. Carbon black is a product of incomplete combustion of crude oil or natural gas under conditions of low oxygen. Carbon black helps stabilize over 20 chemical compounds, which are added to the process of making rubber tires to increase elasticity, durability, and flexibility.

Carbon black also protects tires from ultraviolet rays, a factor that makes rubber become brittle and easily decompose. Additionally, tires using carbon black dissipate heat instead of trapping it inside the tire, reducing the impact of temperature on the durability of the rubber.

In 1915, after a period of research, scientists discovered a material blended with rubber that reduced wear and tear and increased tire lifespan by 4-5 times. This material is carbon black, which is mixed with rubber and cotton fibers. Carbon black accounts for 30% of the tire’s weight. This is why car tires are black.

In history, what other colors have car tires been?

In the 1950s, tires were also produced in various eye-catching colors other than black, such as orange, red, and yellow. However, after a period of use, these colorful tires became dry, stiff, and faded.

Manufacturers discovered that the reason colored tires deteriorate faster than black tires is because colored rubber reacts with synthetic substances from the ozone layer and infrared rays from the sun, causing chemical reactions that deform the tire’s properties.

Due to their lower durability and higher prices compared to black tires, colored tires quickly disappeared.

In terms of aesthetics, black tires are cleaner and hide dirt better compared to other colors.

Currently, many people paint the outer surface of the tires or paint colors on the letters of the tires to make their cars stand out on the road. However, the essence of those colored tires is still black from the beginning.

Source: VTC.vn

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