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The fabrication of your tyre is a lot more complex than you may think.


A combination of natural and synthetic rubber as well as various textiles and metals are used to make what we consider and know to be a tyre.


How is the rubber used in the manufacture of your tyre made?


Making a tyre involves using both natural and man made rubber. Natural rubber is a naturally forming polymer. 

Because of its special qualities natural rubber is heavily farmed in its organic state of latex. Latex is a viscous milk coloured substance which oozes out of the bark of the rubber trees. Small cuts are made into the bark of the tree and the latex runs down and is collected. This process is called tapping.


Once collected the organic latex is ready for processing.


If natural rubber is environmentally friendly why are our tyres not made from just this form of rubber. Why are synthetic rubbers used?


The organic latex contains other naturally produced compounds and impurities, the elastic qualities remain unsurpassed but also makes it not as well equipped to cope with heat. Heat is natural by product of a rotating tyre and therefore means that a tyre made solely from natural rubber would not be as stable, would not be able to perform as well and would not last as long.


Therefore in most cases our tyres will contain a mixture of both forms of rubber.


The discovery of Synthetic rubber is accredited to Gustave Bouchardat, who found that he had been able to re-create rubber polymers in laboratory conditions.  Motor vehicles were now spreading across the globe and the increased demand for rubber and farming techniques at the time meant that this discovery was monumental.

In 1909 a research team spear headed by Fritz Hofmann where able to produce polymers which where able to be used in manufacture and commercial settings.

The rubber used today in the manufacture of our tyres is simply a hybrid from the original forms and the ratio of natural and synthetic rubber will vary depending upon the tyre  that you use. The exact formula is a closely guarded secret and one which tyre manufactures will invest heavily in. Too much natural rubber and the tyre will not be able to withstand the rigour of modern roads, too little and the elasticity and longevity is reduced.

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