The tyre that adorns your car wheels is made of a very interesting and elaborate manufacturing process. The tyre is given numerous instruments of design for bringing it better success on the roads, and one among these is the steel belt, otherwise known as the stabilizing belt.
So, what exactly are these stabilizing belts, and how do they help with the tyre’s overall function?
The first thing to note is that the very term ‘radial’ derives from the arrival of this new design. Before tyres had stabilizing belts protecting them from the inside, they were not termed as radials, just ‘tyres’. The term ‘radial’ applies to tyres with steel belt reinforcements on the inside. The proper terminology here, is a ‘radial-ply tyres’.
So, how do they work? The tyre is first enforced with a series of plies of cord. Together, this network of cords are called as the carcass of the tyre, and this is the foundation in the tyre’s strength and shape. Today, all tyres have carcasses of steel or polyester, laid from inside with several layers of rubber.
Only radial cords do not suffice in bringing the tyre the level of rigidity it needs in its contact with the ground. As a result, to further enhance stiffness, additional belts wrap the tyre, oriented towards the direction of travel.
As a result, the tyre carcass can be divided into two main sections:
1. The radial cords in the sidewall that give it flexibility and comfort for the ride.
2. The rigid steel belts that enforce the tread region, bringing strength and performance.
Each system is optimized for varying features, together bringing the tyre its best performance.
The primary purpose of the tyre carcass is mainly to bring a better sturdiness for the overall survival of the tyre against the harsh roads. The purpose of the cords in the sidewall remains to bring flexibility to the tyre. The steel belts further enforcing the tyre aim at bringing rigidity to the tyre’s build. Also, they enhance performance by giving the tyre a far better compliance with the road. Handling is made smoother and more eased with the benefit of the radials.
Steel belt reinforcements are a vital necessity for the tyres of the day. Without these, the tyre is considered incomplete and lacking in the basic quality features that the entire industry’s standards call for. As a result, the benefit of stabilizing belts reaches to almost all tyres of the day, and the cars that are adorned with them. These belts are, as a result, one of the primary elements in sustaining safety on our roads and ensuring that vehicle driving is given the level of security it demands.