Facts: The average passenger car tire weighs between 20 and 22 pounds, light truck tires less than 17 inches in diameter weigh around 35 pounds, and commercial truck tires weigh between 105 and 110 pounds.
In the world of commercial truck tires (TBR), the products you sell and use are basically the same – made of a blend of rubber and other compounds, usually comprise steel belts, have sidewalls and beads, and come with a tread with grooves or lugs.
When you shop around in the market for different TBR brands and manufacturers, then you will have to deal with different terms for various brands, the following components and features may help to understand better about the tires.
First of all, about ingredients other than Rubber:
The different rubber elements in a tire each have different ratios of natural to synthetic rubber in their compound mix. And, obviously, different manufacturers use different rubber mixtures in their products in addition to other ingredients.
Antioxidants and Antiozonants – Chemicals mixed into rubber compounds to fight rubber degradation due to exposure to oxygen and ozone.
Carbon Black – It is primarily a filler in rubber compounds and is also why tires are black. The ultra-fine powder of pure carbon comprises some 30% of a tire’s mass, adding resistance to rubber compound against wear and abrasions. Sulfur – sulfur links rubber molecules together, giving rubber strength and resistance to heat and cold. Wax – helps prevent oxidation and control the rate at which a rubber compound cures.
Accelerators – help make sure the different rubber compounds in a tire finish curing at the same time.
Tread Area Features of tires:
A rule of thumb: Better fuel mileage and even wear with closed shoulder; better off-road traction with open shoulder. Open shoulder designs, which may be more attractive in performance, are worse on fuel economy. There are more voids in the tread so there’s less rubber in contact with the road and are more susceptible to uneven wear, which reduces tread life.
Tread Cap Compound – The tread base, is a special rubber compound under the tread compound that helps dissipate heat buildup and improve durability.
Closed Shoulder Pattern – a tread pattern featuring shoulder ribs surrounding deep tread lugs. Common for long-haul drive axle applications, shoulder ribs help fight tread lug irregular wear common on open shoulder lug patterns. Open Shoulder Pattern – Tread pattern featuring open lugs across the entire tread face, shoulder to shoulder, for added traction. Designed primarily for regional off-road use and extremely soft surfaces. Sustained on-road use could cause irregular wear on tread lugs.
Equalizer Rib – Found in a tread groove between ribs, a small rib that wears more rapidly than the shoulder rib beside it, helping to equalize pressure on the shoulder rib and thereby prevent shoulder edge wear.
Circumferential Rib Tread Pattern – A tread pattern with multiple circumferential ribs with wide tread grooves, commonly used on steer and trailer axle positions.
See Through Grooves – Also called “flow through grooves,” these are open continuous circumferential grooves designed to resist hydroplaning. Shoulder Groove – a thin circumferential groove near the apex of a tire’s shoulder. This groove creates a narrow rib along the shoulder. The concept is that it will wear faster than the adjacent shoulder rib, thereby minimizing shoulder edge wear. Side Groove – Located high on a tire’s shoulder, near the tread face, this rounded groove helps minimize irregular shoulder wear by opening and closing as forces on the tire shoulder change. Sipes – Serve two primary purposes in medium truck tires: 1) provide added traction, and 2) relieve stress on tread to fight against irregular wear.
Stone Ejectors – small stands between tread grooves are designed to prevent stones or other cutting objects from becoming lodged between ribs. , which could create severe casing damage.
Tie Bars – Small segment of rubber that links tread elements together to help fight irregular wear-causing tread element squirm. Tie bars are usually found on more premium rib tires. Major Casing Construction Features: Steel Belts – In most steel radial truck tires, there are full-width and partial-width belts. The bottom belt, closest to the carcass plies, is called the “transition belt,” and is made up of either two partial-width or one full-width steel belt. The second and third belts are full-width and are called the “stabilizer belts.” The fourth, normally slightly less than full-width, is commonly referred to as the “protector belt” or “protector ply.”
Apex – Rubber pieces at the bead and lower sidewall area that help stiffen the bead area and provide a transition to the more flexible sidewall area. Bead – Made of wound high-tensile steel. Round, square or semi-rectangular in shape, the bead keeps the tire on a wheel, and adds to sidewall stiffness. Stabilizer Ply – Rubber-based ply laid over the ply turnup and under the chafer that reinforces and stabilizes the transition area between the bead and the sidewall. Turn Up Ply – Also called “high ply turn up” or “ply turnup,” this construction feature is located where the main casing plies wrap under the bead and back up the sidewall. This serves to stiffen the sidewall for stability and responsiveness.
Sources: part of the contents were selected and revised from: http://www.tomorrowstechnician.com/
Starting from March 1st, 2016, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand began to limit the export of natural rubber, the countries accounting for about 70% of the global total rubber production. On the same day of March 1, the price of natural rubber prices rose 400 yuan/ton in Chinese market. With the increased ex-factory price of butadiene (Br) rubber after March 1st, the wholesale rate also followed up. Word on the street is that the prices of tire product may rise in April according to insiders of Chinese domestic tire industry.
China is one of the world’s largest natural rubber demand countries, the annual consumption is about 400 million tons, while domestic production is only 700,000 – 800,000 tons, and over 80% is replying on imports. The market price of natural rubber in generally higher than that of the synthetic rubber prices. At present, the price of natural rubber is close to the price of synthetic rubber. Since November 2015, natural rubber prices have been under 10,000 Yuan/ton, the recent price is 9,600 yuan / ton and synthetic rubber such as styrene butadiene rubber, polybutadiene rubber and others are quoted in the range of 8,000 ~ 9,000 yuan/ ton recently. When the natural rubber price is lower than the synthetic rubber, it forms a large arbitrage opportunities for the investment.
With the rise of natural rubber prices and the rebound in the downstream auto sales, both factors will become a positive push in the tire prices. The market information from the first quarter promotion meeting sales of major brands indicates that most tire companies have digested the last year’s inventory and brokers have become more rational and cautious when purchasing. Some large tire companies began to take the high road, and no longer in the pursuit of production capacity. The upcoming closure trend of small factories would affect tire supply side to a certain extent. There exists some initial success on the supply side in the Chinese tire industry and the rise of market prices is expected.
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