"Cradle to Cradle"

HOW TIRES EFFECT OUR EARTH

How is a Tire Made?

  1. BLEND: Up to 30 ingredients are used in your tire’s rubber blend. The ingredient proportions will depend on what the performance goals of the tire will be. It’s composed of several types of rubber, fillers and other ingredients, mixed in giant blenders known as Banbury mixers. These create a black, gummy compound that will be sent on for milling.
  2. MILL: Once the rubber is cooled, it is sent to a special mill, where the rubber is cut into strips that will form the basic structure of the tire itself. At the milling stage, other elements of the tire are prepared, some of which are then coated in another type of rubber.
  3. BUILD: The tire itself is constructed, from the inside out. The textile elements, steel belts, beads, ply, tread, and other components are placed in a tire-building machine that ensures every part is in the right place. This results in what looks like a relatively finished product, known as a green tire.
  4. CURE: The green tire is then vulcanized with hot moulds in a curing machine, compressing all of the parts of the tire together and giving the tire its final shape, including its tread pattern and manufacturer’s sidewall markings
  5. INSPECT: Before a tire can be considered ready to ship for sale, it must be carefully inspected, visually by trained inspectors, and using machines designed to pick up even the slightest blemish or imperfection. A selection of tires are pulled from the line for x-raying, in order to search for potential internal weaknesses or failures. Our quality control engineers also randomly select tires off the line and cut them open to study carefully every detail of their construction to ensure they meet Goodyear standards.
How a tire is made

What are the Materials in a Tire?

-Rubber is the main raw material used in manufacturing tires, and both natural and synthetic rubber are used. Natural rubber is found as a milky liquid in the bark of the rubber tree, Hevea Brasiliensis. To produce the raw rubber used in tire manufacturing, the liquid latex is mixed with acids that cause the rubber to solidify. Presses squeeze out excess water and form the rubber into sheets, and then the sheets are dried in tall smokehouses, pressed into enormous bales, and shipped to tire factories around the world. Synthetic rubber is produced from the polymers found in crude oil.

-The other primary ingredient in tire rubber is carbon black. Carbon black is a fine, soft powder created when crude oil or natural gas is burned with a limited amount of oxygen, causing incomplete combustion and creating a large amount of fine soot. So much carbon black is required for manufacturing tires that rail cars transport it and huge silos store the carbon black at the tire factory until it is needed.

-Sulfur and other chemicals are also used in tires. Specific chemicals, when mixed with rubber and then heated, produce specific tire characteristics such as high friction (but low mileage) for a racing tire or high mileage (but lower friction) for a passenger car tire. Some chemicals keep the rubber flexible while it is being shaped into a tire while other chemicals protect the rubber from the ultraviolet radiation in sunshine.

Where do These Materials Come From?

Rubber: Natural rubbers are made from elastic latexes. Latex is a mixture of organic compounds produced by some plants in special cells called caticifers. The composition of latex differs from plant to plant. Most natural rubber comes from a single species of tree, Hevea brasiliensis.

Carbon Black: is a material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products such as FCC tar, coal tar, ethylene tar, and a small amount from vegatable oil.

Sulfer: Sulphur is the 16th most abundant element in nature. It is found in the earth's crust, in the ocean and even in meteorites. Sulphur occurs naturally all over the world and is most prolific where sulphur-rich gas and oil is processed and refined i.e.the United States, Canada, the Former Soviet Union, and West Asia.

If you drive a typical number of miles, somewhere around 12,000-15,000 miles annually, a tire's tread will wear out in three to four years, long before the rubber compound does. But if you only drive 6,000 miles a year, or have a car that you only drive on weekends, aging tires could be an issue.

An article on AOL Autos examines the major bits and pieces of an automobile and offers rough estimates of how long it takes for the average vehicle to rot away, and there are a few surprises. For instance, rubber tires decompose naturally over a fairly reasonable-sounding period of 50 to 80 years.Tires represent a serious environmental concern on several fronts. Part of the risk lies with their chemical makeup. Toxins released from tire decomposition, incineration or accidental fires can pollute the water, air and soil. While 42 states regulate tire disposal to some degree, eight states have no restrictions on what you must do with your discarded tires. Even with laws in place, illegal dumping still occurs, presenting negative environmental impacts.

What Happens When we don't Need the Tires Anymore?

Once tires have reached the end of their serviceable lives, they tend to be dumped in huge piles. If these piles should be set alight, the smoke is an extraordinarily toxic cocktail and the runoff from melted residue can contaminate groundwater.

Tires left sitting around in the open also collect rainwater and become perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.While tires are a necessary evil in our modern lives, there’s some things we can do to reduce the number of tires that may wind up being used as a toxic fuel alternative or just dumped in landfills. You can also save some cash in the process.

You can extend tire life substantially by:

– checking to see if they are inflated to proper levels
– check inflation levels weekly
– don’t speed
– corner, brake and start off gently
– ensure your tires are properly balanced and rotated regularly
– don’t overload your vehicle.

What we can Create out of a Tire:

Tires can be recycled into more tires or repurposed for many other applications, including:

– insulation blocks
– building homes known as “earthships”
– drainage aggregate
– clean fill
– planters for tomatoes and potatoes
– floor mats
– belts
– gaskets
– shoe soles
– seals
– washers.

- turf
– garden edging
– compost bins
– retaining walls
– ute/truck mats

- tire swings

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