Everyone is well aware that tyres are black, but have you ever given it any thought? Why do tyres have to be black? Some of you may believe it makes sense to keep the tyres black because they travel through mud and other types of dirt-filled roads.
Were tyres always black?
Not many people are aware, but about 125 years ago; tyres were still made in their original white colour. The rubber that goes into making tyres is a milky white colour. How did we then come to have black tyres? The original material was not strong enough to support the weight of an automobile or function effectively on the roads, which is the explanation for this.
What makes the tyres black?
Carbon black is the substance that is added to the tyres and acts as a stabilising compound, maintaining the tyre’s black colour is primarily done to increase the robustness and durability of the tyres.
Digging into a bit of history!
Modernization of the tire-making process over time has occurred. Rubber is typically a milky white colour, but in 1910, B.F. Goodrich began using the stabilising agent “carbon black” in the manufacturing process. The rubber was strengthened and made more durable by carbon black, fine manufactured soot that also gave the tyres their colour. Rubber’s wear resistance was increased by ten times. Black started its journey toward becoming the standard colour when Henry Ford’s iconic Model T switched from having white tyres to having black ones.
- The industry was completely transformed by Carbon Black, who made the tyres incredibly durable. This is why all of the tyres are black today. It is dangerous because it can lead to a tyre burst when we drive a car for an extended period. After all, the tread areas and belts tend to heat up.
- To keep the tyres’ temperature stable, carbon black can be used in this situation. In addition, carbon black shields the rubber compound from UV rays, which can weaken the rubber’s performance. UV rays can harden rubber compounds.
- Soot is another cause of the black colour, and it is produced by incompletely burning an organic compound. Soot is primarily used in tyres to increase durability. Carbon black has largely replaced soot because it makes more sense.
- Even though black tyres appear to be boring to some, they are extremely beneficial. It not only makes tyre cleaning easier, but it also improves efficiency and durability. When compared to white tyres, black tyres make much more sense in terms of practicality and safety.
What could be the future of tyres?
Tyres have been black for decades, but this could change in the future. Right now, we’re seeing rapid progress in car and tyre manufacturing, and it’s only going to get faster as innovation cycles shorten. In the future, tyres may come in a variety of colours, materials, and even digital technology.
Aside from tyres, there is a lot of fascinating history surrounding cars and how their parts have come to be central to car lore and development. One such example is the fascinating history of the car horn.
Overall, it seems unlikely that the familiar and beloved black tyres will ever entirely vanish from our roads. Our current version of car tyres, however, continues to be a living link in the development of the automobile, dating back to its inception, despite the many advancements that have been made over the years.
So make sure to maximise this history by maintaining your set’s cleanliness and air pressure, and take advantage of it by driving your car on the open road to enjoy it.
Briefly, this discussion concludes that carbon black is added to car tyres, which is why they are black. Additionally, the increased strength and durability, as well as the more comfortable cleaning, make this a good thing.
You do, however, always have the option of switching out the hubcaps and rims and installing something more fashionable there if you want to add some style to your tyres. We sincerely hope you found this article useful. Now that you know the answer, you can confidently respond to anyone who inquires about why tyres are black the next time they do!
Also published on Medium.