7 Interesting Facts About Tires
Everyone knows tires are an essential part of cars. The rubber wheel allows vehicles to move forward and arrive at different destinations. It doesn’t seem like they require much innovation for the function they perform. As long as they can roll along without falling apart, what else is there to know? As it turns out, there are several things you can learn about tires other than the obvious. Here are 7 facts about tires that you didn’t know:
1. Skinny tires are becoming popular again. With new technology, skinnier tires are proving more energy efficient than the wider ones we’re accustomed to seeing. A narrow tread and high outer diameter reduces energy loss by improving the vehicle’s aerodynamics and rolling resistance.
2. Increasing a tires width is not the same as increasing the contact patch. For a tire to have better longitudinal grip, the tire needs a longer patch of contact. So, wider tires don’t accomplish this goal and don’t necessarily improve traction.
3. Wider tires have been proven to increase corner grip. This doesn’t mean skinny tires can’t compete in this area though. Adding a sticking agent to the skinny tires improves traction, even at corners.
4. Did you know static electricity can affect your car tires? Static-electricity build up is becoming a problem for tires as the rubber compounds used have been modified to reduce weight and resistance. This problem can be solved by incorporating a grounding strip into the tire to make it a more efficient conductor.
5. A flat tire will last longer the slower you go. You shouldn’t attempt to drive with a flat tire, but if you do, the distance you can go is directly related to speed. At 40 mph, a run down tire can keep rolling for about 100 miles.
6. A typical tire is made up of over 200 different materials. Aside from rubber for traction, there are numerous different agents and compounds used in tires to keep them running smoothly. Even the rubber tread contains metals such as titanium and cobalt.
7. Airless tires are a definite possibility for the future of cars. Some companies are experimenting with airless tires on smaller vehicles such as golf carts. These resemble a wheel more than the heavy, black rubber tire you’re used to seeing.
Do you know any fun facts about tires that we didn’t list here? Let us know!