Tyre Aging

15th, January 2009

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Rubber compounds used in tyres contain anti-oxidising chemicals that help to slow down the natural aging process of untreated rubber. However, tyres do deteriorate with age, which increases the risk of tyre failure, and there are many ways in which this can be spotted:

  • Cracking/crazing on the side wall of the tyre, caused by its flexing
  • Distortion of tyre tread
  • Deformation of the carcass of the tyre

There will also be a deterioration of the ride quality caused by vibrations through the tyre. This may signify the tyre’s performance has been affected by age and should be investigated as soon as possible.

All tyres that display signs of aging should be removed and not put to further use.

Tyres that have been in storage should not be placed into use if they are over 6 years old, from their date of manufacture. When a tyre has been in use, the effects of aging are lessened to a degree, but such tyres should be replaced after 10 years.

The effects of aging can be brought about prematurely in several conditions. Tyres fitted as spare wheels or used on caravans and trailers may age prematurely. If tyres on caravans or trailers are not in regular use, then they should be inspected before every journey. Tyres used predominantly in coastal areas will age at a greater rate due to the saline conditions, and several cleaning products may also harm the chemicals in the rubber.

In most circumstances tread depth can be used as a suitable indication of when tyres should be replaced - as tyre treads generally wear out before their age effects their performance. However, the age of a tyre will affect its safety and increase the risk of failure, and you should inspect tyres for the signs of aging regularly.

Source: http://www.rospa.com/


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