Table of Contents
- 1 What materials are van tyres made from?
- 1.1 Inner Liner
- 1.2 Body ply
- 1.3 Side
- 1.4 Beads
- 1.5 Apex
- 1.6 Belt package
- 1.7 Tread
- 1.8 Cushion gum
- 1.9 Radical/Road force variation
- 1.10 Van tyres and maintenance
- 1.11 Safety checks on van tyres
- 1.11.1 Van Pressure
- 1.11.2 Tyre-pressure monitoring system
- 1.11.3 Effect on heavy-duty vehicles
- 1.11.4 Effect of Underinflation
- 1.11.5 Effects on tyre life
- 1.11.6 Effect on vehicle safety
- 1.11.7 Effect on fuel efficiency
- 1.11.8 Treadwear indicators
- 1.11.9 Production date
- 1.11.10 Dangers of using aged tyres
- 1.11.11 Load limit information
You need to maintain your new refrigerator van tyres to minimise the continuous cost of repairs.
What materials are van tyres made from?
Pneumatic tyres are manufactured according to relatively standardised processes in around 455 tyre factories in the world. These tyres comprise components that are built on a drum and then cured in a press under heat and pressure. The basic materials include:
The inner liner helps the tyre to hold high-pressure air inside, minimising diffusion through the rubber structure.
Body piles give tyres structure strength. Passenger tyres have one or two body piles while truck tyres, off-road tyres, and aircraft tyres have more piles.
Sidewalls give the tyres pressure against the environment.
Beads are a band of high tensile-strength steel wires encased in a rubber compound, coated with special alloys of bronze or brass to protect the steel from corrosion. The beads provide the mechanical strength to fix the tyre to the wheel.
The apex provides a cushion between the rigid bead and the flexible liner and ply assembly.
Passenger trucks are made with two or three belts. Belts give the tyre strength and dent resistance, allowing it to remain flexible.
The tread is an extruded profile that surrounds the carcass of the tyre. With an additive-compound component, the tread can impart wear resistance and traction besides environmental resistance.
Many high performing tyres include an extruded component between the belt package and the tread to isolate the tread from mechanical wear.
Radical/Road force variation
The radical/road force variation (RVF) is the property of a tyre that affects steering, traction, braking, and load support. Factors like tread exhaustion thickness and symmetry, tread splice, body ply splices among others, can lead to a variation in the material distribution and thickness that are modelled as spring length. These variations are influenced by viscoelastic properties, mixing dispersion and uniformity, and cure heat history.
Van tyres and maintenance
Safety checks on van tyres
Proper vehicle safety requires attention to inflation pressure, tread depth, and the general condition of the tyres. Tyres are at risk of puncturing when they are worn past their safety regulations.
The van pressure is the maximum inflation pressure for your tire. Study your owner’s manual and instruction for all the information about recommended tyre pressure as it can have a significant impact on fuel efficiency, handling, turning and the brakes.
Tyre-pressure monitoring system
A tyre pressure monitoring system (TMPS) monitors the air pressure inside the pneumatic tyres on different types of vehicles. The goal of a TPMS is to avoid traffic accidents, poor fuel economy, and increased tyre wear through early detection of the state of the tyres.
Effect on heavy-duty vehicles
Tyres are often bought in bulk and moved between tractors, so a given TPMS system can only work with compatible sensors in tyres, creating logistics problems.
Effect of Underinflation
An overinflated tyre is at risk of a blowout. An underinflated tyre is at risk of overheating and suffers rapid tread wear mostly on the edges. Vehicle and tyre manufacturers provide manuals with instructions on how to check and maintain tyres.
Effects on tyre life
If you leave your tyres unchecked for a prolonged period, it can easily cause your tyres to become unusable. Tyre life can be reduced by as much as 75% if your tyres are running at just 80% of the recommended pressure. Early signs of underinflation are a rapid wearing on the outside of the tyres.
Effect on vehicle safety
Underinflation affects the safety of vehicles as the air in the tyres is not enough to support the vehicle’s weight. The weight of the vehicle compresses the sides of the tyres causing them to flex beyond their normal limits. This abnormality increases the chances of a high speed blow out.
Effect on fuel efficiency
Underinflation increases the amount of the tyre’s tread that is in contact with the road surface. Your vehicle needs to use more power to move an underinflated wheel, leading to an increase in fuel consumption.
The letters “TWI’ show the location of the tread wear indicators. Check these indicators regularly to ensure there’s enough tread on your tyres. The minimum tread depth in most EU countries is 1.6mm.
You can check the production date of the tyres to avoid using damaged and expired tyres. The four-digit code tells you the week and the year that your tyres were manufactured.
Dangers of using aged tyres
As tyres age, they dry out and become dangerous. Tyres on seldom-used vans are at the highest risk of age-failure, but some tyres are built to withstand idleness, usually with nylon reinforcement.
Load limit information
Consult your vehicle owner’s manual to determine the load limits of your van so as to avoid putting stress on your tyres and other critical vehicle components.