Tyres are one of the most important parts of your car and masterpiece of sophisticated engineering. It’s obvious that without tyres, your car wouldn’t move but then, they don’t last forever and some early wear and tear signs call for replacement, that includes cracking. But then, why do tyres crack in the first place and is there a way to fix them? Let’s find out below.
Reasons for Tyre Crack
Besides the rubber component, a typical car tyre is made up of many different elements and chemical compounds which make it strong enough to hold the weight of your entire vehicle without bending the tyre’s shape.
These components include plies (fibres within the tyre which give it some flexibility while keeping the structure intact) and beads (rubber-coated steel used as a seal between the wheel rims and the tyre).
The rubber on the outside of the tyre is a mix of polymers combined to form molecules whereas tyre cracking is caused by the breaking of these bonds. But then, what weakens the bond in the first place?
Extreme Heat/UV Rays
Like many chemical compounds, polymers in the tyre expands from heat and contracts in the cold. The constant movement results in deterioration of the bond over time due to which crack begins to surface on the car tyre’s face. Likewise, UV rays have the same effect and one of the biggest causes of cracked tyres but then, caging the car or keeping it in the shade at all time is impossible. All that’s needed is close monitoring and caring.
With time, tyres get older resulting in natural weakening and breaking of the polymers, which eventually leave tyres hard, brittle and lose traction on the road. Even if a car hasn’t been driven for a few years and kept in the garage, it still leads to weakening and cracking which is why it’s better to drive every now and then thus making the most of your vehicle. The chemical which prevents the tyre from cracking and drying off releases when the tyre actually moves else it would be ineffective.
Water & Degradation
Although rubber is waterproof, some of it can still permeate whenever the tyres are exposed to wet conditions for a long period of time, resulting in surface cracking. Since rubber is an organic compound extracted from the trees, it makes tyres biodegradable where no amount of chemicals can stop them from natural degradation over time. At the time of reinforcing of the tyre, certain chemicals and compounds are applied to slow down the degradation but, these wouldn’t last for eternity.
The Tyre Pressure
Wrongly inflated tyres can easily crack or worse, blow unexpectedly. When the tyres are under pressurised, a high amount of heat is generated while driving. Because underinflation would expose a much greater area of the tyre to the road thereby more friction. On the contrary, overpressure tyres elevate stress to the tyre wall and cause bulging.
Dangers of Cracked Tyres
It’s better to avoid driving on cracked tyres because rigidity and strength have been compromised whereas chances of an unexpected blowout are greater than usual. In case you notice cracks around the tyres, better haul the car to the garage, have it looked by professionals