How aged tyres can be a threat to your and your vehicle’s safety?
Tyres are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. They are the only point of contact between the road surface and the car. So, there is a serious need to look after the condition of the tyres that are installed on your car as they are wholly responsible for your and your vehicle’s safety. You should take proper care of your tyres and also, should get them replaced with new ones when they are worn-off and aged. In case, you continue to use a worn-off tyre or a tyre that has fullfiled its life’s purpose, it can put you in a lot of trouble and lead to unpleasant situations like accidents and hazards.
It is quite known to many people that aged tyres are more likely to failure due to exposure to the environment. Ideally tyres should be kept in a cool, dry environment where it can stay out of direct sunlight and away from any other electric motors. It should be kept away from any kind of flame, heat or other sources of ozone. If these conditions are not kept in mind and the tyres are exposed to any source of heat, then they may have a greater chance of failure.
How do I tell the age of a tyre?
There is a serial Tyre Identification Number (or serial TIN) in every tyre that shows the date of manufacture of that tyre. While buying a tyre you should always check the date of manufacturing mentioned on its sidewall. It is a DOT code that is usually represented by a four digit number (for post 2000 tyres) or a three digit number (for tyres made pre 2000) that indicate the week and the year of its manufacturing. It is recommended that you do not buy a tyre that is older than 6 months.
Tyre Ageing Mechanism:
There are three main mechanisms of tyre ageing:
1) The first mechanism involves the rubber material of the tyre becoming more brittle. Sulphur is used to link rubber molecules together during vulcanisation with the application of heat and pressure. It provides the rubber with its useful elastic properties and strength. The movement of the tyre continues to vulcanise as it absorbs energy in the form of light. As a result, the rubber material of the tyres becomes stiffer and brittle day by day.
2) The second mechanism of tyre ageing is oxidation. It involves oxygen and ozone from the air that compromises the strength and elastic nature of the rubber compund. It also affects the integrity of the rubber to steel bond. What happens here is that heat and oxygen cause chains of cross linking polymers that leads to poor elasticity.
3) The third mechanism that plays a major role in the ageing of a tyre is the breakdown of the rubber to steel-belt bond. It occures when water permeates through a tyre and bonds with the brass plate coating on the steel belts. As a result, the steel to rubber bond gets weeker and it causes the tyre to lose its strenght and reduces the heat resistance capacity of it. Even the new and unused tyres can lose elasticity when exposed to heat, sunlight, air and water.
Check more on the right type of tyre for your driving conditions: Road Conditions And Tyres Suiting Them