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Tyre Retreading

THE TYRE RETREADING HISTOTY Often we receives phone calls, faxes, and e-mail requesting information on the history of retreading. It is unbelievable the number of calls received from university students and even primary age children preparing research on tire retreading and recycling. The following may help anyone needing information in this area. The Early Years of Tire Retreading Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the search through the history of the tire retreading and repairing industry is the quest for the "first" of the industry. To whom should credit go for the first tire repair, the first attempt at vulcanizing a repair, or the first successful retread? It is fairly safe to assume that repairing began as soon as the first tire was placed upon the wheel of a vehicle; that it coincides with the history of the tire itself. B.F. Goodrich made solid rubber tires for high bicycles and by 1884, several companies had patented solid bicycle tires. A few years later, in the 1890's, Charles Miller patented a bicycle tire section mold reputed to be the first patent granted to the tire repair industry. In 1890,North British Rubber Company, Ltd. manufactured the first clincher tires. In America, one of the most current sources of information about inventions and patents is the Scientific American magazine. Issues in the late nineteenth century featured photographs, articles, notes, and comments on the progress of the tire industry -- both bicycle and automobile; solid and pneumatic. By the 1890's, each of the volumes in the magazine contained a list of patents for repairing compounds, tire rubber, inflatable and/or pneumatic tires, tire tighteners, tire covers, and puncture repairs of all kinds. Advertisements and articles were devoted to various aspects of the automobile and tire industries. Concern for the protection of tires even reached city governments. In 1895, for example, Chicopee, Massachusetts, passed an ordinance whereby anyone found guilty of putting or placing any article that could injure or damage tires was subject to a fine of between $2 and $20 dollars. Horse drawn wagons caused damage accidentally when either a horseshoe or a wagon lost a nail along the road for the next unsuspecting motorist. With an increased awareness of the road dangers to tires, there was an increase in the number of comments about repairing punctures. In one issue, an actual formula for puncture repairs was printed. The recipe from a Mr. Zeitschrift reads as follows: 160 parts bisulphide of carbon 20 parts guttapercha 40 parts caoutchouc 10 parts isinglass The compound or "cement" was dropped into crevices after they had been properly cleaned. If the tear was large, the cement was applied in layers. The tire was bound lightly with thread and left to dry for 24 to 26 hours. When it was dry, the thread was cut-off and any protruding cement was trimmed away with a knife that had been dipped in water. This recipe and the detailed instructions for executing the tire repair appeared in the same September 14, 1895 issue as a series on the "smallest inventions" that had the greatest impact on society. Goodyear's discovery of vulcanization in 1839 and the pneumatic principle were both listed among the great discoveries. (Most sources agree that Goodyear and Thomas Hancock of England made simultaneous discoveries of vulcanization.) Goodyear's patent in 1844 was quickly followed by a number of patents for different forms of rubber including blankets, overshoes, and bands. The pneumatic principle is usually credited to John Boyd Dunlop of Belfast, whose experimentation with his son's tricycle tires in 1888 led to the discovery. As early as 1845, however, there was a brougham owned by an engineer of Middlesex, which had "noiseless tires" and created quite a sensation. Robert William Thomson patented these tires vulcanized with "sulphurized belts." In the later part of the nineteenth century, there was a tremendous interest in rubber, rubber compounds, and inventions and a search for numerous applications. Rubber-tired wheels on ambulances began as an experiment in New York and proved to be advantageous over the iron wheel for the comfort of the patient and the horse drawing the ambulance wagon. This experiment in 1895 was to determine the value of rubber-tired wheels on ambulances. Two ambulances were used in the test, one with pneumatic tires and the other with solid rubber ones. Although both seemed to provide a smoother ride for patients than wooden or iron tires, there was no conclusion about which was more advantageous. The principle obstacle seemed to be the fact that the ambulances were extremely heavy vehicles designed to prevent easy jolting of patients. The pneumatic tires frequently collapsed from the weight while solid ones were torn from the wheels because of the strain. Nevertheless, the experiment received coverage in the magazine and the article suggested that they were going to continue using rubber in some form because of the smooth ride, in spite of all the disadvantages. India Rubber Review magazine reported that credit for the first rubber tires actually belonged to J.G. Kellogg in 1863 who worked in the marble business. Apparently, A.T. Stewart (of dry goods fame and the President of Bank of America) was disturbed that the wheels of the trucks carrying rolled coins in the bank were causing severe damage to the marble floors. Stewart appealed to Kellogg to help save the floors. Kellogg vulcanized bands of rubber to the metal tires. The process was so successful that the same tires were still in use when the Review issue was published in 1902. The tremendous interest in rubber and pneumatic principles brought about a great deal of flexibility in the bicycle and, eventually, automobile industries. It is safe to assume that these same advances -- whereby a layer of vulcanized rubber surrounds a cushion of air led directly to the development of that layer of rubber incised into a tread and eventually to the very notion of "retreading" a tire. But before retreading became an issue, there was increased concern about the safety of pneumatic tires and the prevention of punctures. In the 1890's, Scientific American published numerous patents and comments or descriptions for remedies to the dilemma. Examples included: Patent No. 553,698 J.W. Mix. Mending punctures in pneumatic tires. No. 565,313 C.L. Pepper. Implement for repairing pneumatic tires. No. 566,772 G. Kirkegaard. Repair tool for pneumatic tires. No. 569,737 Hunt and Hostetter. Means for closing punctures in pneumatic tires. Zebilon Foster of Chicago patented a "Protector for Pneumatic Tires" and explained it thus: To prevent the puncture and damage of tires, the inventor provides a protective rim whose contiguous ends are enlarged and curved around the sides of the tire, being arranged one within the other and having their flat sides snugly engaged with each other. Each side of each end has an inwardly extending ear, the ears being longitudinally aligned, and being respectively engaged by threaded bolts and nuts to cause the rim to bind the tire. The tire industry was experimenting, the bicycle and automobile industries were trying new ideas, and the turn of the century was fast approaching. Pneumatic tires for automobiles were first produced by Michelin in France. B.F. Goodrich was responsible for the first pneumatic tire in the U.S. in 1896 on a Winton automobile in Cleveland, Ohio. The age of the pneumatic tire was secure and the need for more efficient methods of increasing mileage, making repairs, and, as roads improved, retreading the tires had to be met. By 1898, every issue of Scientific American magazine mentioned an entirely new set of patents pertaining to the tire industry, repairs, and puncture-protection. Numerous compounds, compositions, and cements were being used for repairing pneumatic tires. Christian Mathisen of Fredericksburg, Texas, patented a "tire-setting machine whereby a tire can be quickly set cold upon a rim." And, by 1899, an entire issue was devoted to the bicycle and automobile. That issue focused upon the fact that "Great strides have been made in the world of automobiles within the last eight years." The turn of the century brought about even more changes and "strides" in the automobile and tire industries. India Rubber Review was published for the first time in Chicago in November 1901 and contained a fascinating look at the tire industry of the early 1900's. (The Review was the predecessor of today's Tire Review, first published in September 1925 in Akron, Ohio.) Besides a variety of patents for pneumatic tires, valves, and inner tubes, there was a patent for "molding and vulcanizing India-rubber" applied for in Paris. An "airless" tire produced by Brooks Airless of Denver, Colorado had an interior core of India rubber which prevented punctures but still produced smooth riding qualities similar to pneumatic tires. Edward Brice Killen of Belfast held a British patent (#19,321) for a non-puncturing pneumatic tire which had a continuous unwearable tread. But the puncture problems still had most people convinced that the solid rubber tire was the only real option. King Edward of England had solid rubber tires on his automobile and B.F. Goodrich Company received an order for a set of solid rubber tires to be shipped to the Shah of Persia. Solid rubber truck tires were used in World War II and at least one electric-powered solid-tired truck was still in use in Pittsburgh as late as the 1950's. According to Scientific American, solid rubber tires were secured to the wheels by a steel tape or pair of wires which ran through the tire. If the rubber was torn in a section, it could easily be removed and replaced with a section of a new or used tire and secured by the retaining wires. This seemed to have been the easiest and fastest method of tire repair. In October 1901, the National Retail Carriage and Harness Dealer's Protective Association held its twelfth annual meeting in New York. One of the features of the show was a rubber tire show. There were wired-on solid tires, cushions, and pneumatics, and exhibitors included, among others: Brooke Airless Pneumatic Tire Company, Denver, Colorado Calumet Tire Rubber Company, Chicago, Illinois Consolidated Rubber/Kelly-Springfield Diamond Rubber Company, Akron Firestone, Akron Goodyear Rubber Company, Victor Rubber Tire Company, Springfield At the same time that there was an increased concern for the safety of tires and protection from blow-outs, there was a small group of independent entrepreneurs who were moving into the business of repairing tires using vulcanization. One of the earliest vulcanizers for repairing was patented in 1904 and the original Bacon electric steam vulcanizer was patented in 1908. According to the reflections of Thomas Bacon, the electric steam vulcanizer came about while he was working with puncture and blowout repairs. Bacon was often frustrated by the fact that while repairing tubes he sometimes would forget about them for a few minutes while he was putting carbide in the lamp tank. By the time he remembered the tube, it had often melted into two pieces. Bacon decided that steam generated by electricity and held at a proper temperature would prevent this burning through. His invention was somewhat crude at first, but the regulator would automatically disconnect the current when it reached a certain pressure. By 1910, India Rubber Review was printing regular advertisements for retreading and repairing equipment to the extent that the practices seemed commonplace. In 1903, the straight-sided tire replaced the need to have clinchers to lock over the rim, and by 1908, clinchers were virtually eliminated. The new tire was called the Quick-Detachable tire. Where, in 1902, an appeal in Scientific American lamented the fact that automobile storage and repair facilities were too few and not yet satisfactory, by 1910 equipment was readily available for the entrepreneur to begin providing these much-needed services. In 1905, Henry Ford agreed to use Firestone tires on the Model T as original equipment when Firestone agreed to establish "field branches" to repair and sell replacement tires to Ford car owners. Since the earliest tires only averaged about 1,000 miles, these first service stations stood to be very successful. In the first decade of the new century, several companies were founded and the industry was beginning to change technologically. In 1898, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was incorporated; in 1900, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company was organized; in 1900 the Rubber Manufacturers Association was founded; in 1901, Goodyear produced its first tire; in 1904, Seiberling-Stevens registered a patent for a tire-building machine; in 1907, the first taxicab was introduced in the U.S. and the Model T was marketed; in 1908, Goodyear adopted a diamond-shaped design in its tread and called it the "All Weather Tread." It became the symbol of the company for years. In the history of the English language, one often notes spelling variations in words that become associated with new industries. The tire industry is no exception. The word tire is spelled tyre in the British Commonwealth. Thomson's patent, however, even though it was English, was spelled with an i. TIRE RETREADING AND RETREADS Introduction When car and truck tires become worn, they can be restored with new tread. According to the Tire Retread Information Bureau, there is no significant difference in quality between new and retreaded tires. Many tires can be repeatedly re-treaded, delaying the landfill disposal of the tire. Large truck tires are typically retreaded as part of a routine tire-management program. Smaller tires, such as those used on passenger cars, can also be retreaded, although fleet managers typically prefer to purchase new tires. Two reasons are cited for this preference. First, the low cost of new tires purchased through large government contracts makes it difficult for retreads to compete and, second, retread passenger tires are perceived to have a higher defect rate than new tires, presenting safety concerns that must be resolved before they can be used. Tire Retreading services worth over millions dollars were used to retread tires for trucks and other heavy equipment around the World. Retreading a tire costs 50% less than buying a new tire. This prevents landfill disposal of tires and saved the Countries billions of dollars over the years. For more information, contact Honey D.Thangam Administration, (0481)563688 or 564026. For most fleets, tires represent the third largest item in their operating budget, right after labor and fuel costs. Fleet managers have found they can reduce their tire costs by at least 50 percent by retreading their tire casings at least twice. The lowest possible cost-per-mile is achieved with a good tire management program that includes the use of quality retreads. Retreads are the replacement tire of choice for most truckers. Of the 27 million replacement tires purchased by fleets last year, 16 million were retreads and only about 11 million were new replacement tires. Retreads are not only cost effective, but they are also dependable, reliable and safe. Retreads are used by truckers with scheduled delivery times, small package delivery companies with guaranteed delivery times, on commercial and military jets, and by most school bus operators. Retreads are also environmentally friendly. Tires are basically petrochemical products. It takes 22 gallons of oil to manufacture one new truck tire. Most oil is found in the casing, which is reused in the retreading process. As a result, it takes only 7 gallons of oil to produce a retread. Retreaders, like trucking companies, are experiencing a lot of consolidation. Today, the most successful retreaders are those with the highest quality products, delivering the best possible return on investment to the fleets. Truckers can expect to see continuous improvement in quality, durability and reliability. Wilkerson Company, Inc. is one of four licensed high speed aircraft tire retreaders in the United States. WCO also services more than 50 countries and territories in the international market. According to FAA statistics, aircrafts using WCO retreads will take-off and land 18,000,000 times a year. WCO grew up with the very first Regional Airlines and Flight Schools in the 60's; therefore, their experience in the industry can work for you. REMOULDING IS RECYCLING! (Retreading Used Tires) What has remoulding to do with recycling? Tyres are not, as many people suppose, relatively simple rubber mouldings. All tyres are complex constructions combining many diverse components. Oil derived synthetic rubbers, and natural rubber are the main ones, together with carbon black artificial fibres and a variety of chemical ingredients. The tyre production process consumes large amounts of energy. When a new tyre reaches the end of its tread life, its main component, the casing, is reusable. Remoulding retains it for a second useful service life. Production of a car remould requires four and a half gallons (twenty litres) less oil than production of a new tyre. With a truck remould the saving over a new tyre can be as much as fifteen gallons (seventy litres). And all the casing components are also saved. Disposal of tyre casings in an environmentally acceptable way is both difficult and expensive. Remoulding does not solve the ultimate problem, but, by extending the useful life of the tyre, both postpones and reduces its environmental cost. Millions of car and van tyres will be remoulded in the United Kingdom - equating to a saving of some 20 million gallons (ninety millions litres) of oil. Fifteen million gallons (seventy million litres) of oil will be saved by remoulding truck tyres. Please remember that RETREADING IS RECYCLING! Every time you buy and use a retreaded tire, you help to conserve our valuable natural resources . . . and retreaded tires are always less expensive than comparable new tires. REMOULDING IS RECYCLING! Tire retreading is an industry that prides itself on the efficient recycling of worn tires. While it takes about 7 gallons of crude oil to manufacture one new passenger tire, a retreaded passenger tire requires only about 2.5 gallons. The savings in truck tire retreading is even greater. Each year, about a quarter of a billion gallons of crude oil is saved by purchasing retreaded tires. Unfortunately, not all repairable tires are repaired. Recent scrap tire surveys have shown that up to 30 percent of alleged scrap truck tires were indeed repairable. On October 29, 1993, President Clinton signed Executive Order 12873 entitled "Federal Acquisition, Recycling and Waste Prevention." The order mandates the use of retreaded tires on all government vehicles. Thanks to new technology, retreaded tires offer safe and dependable performance at a far lower price than comparable new tires. The cost of a retreaded tire is usually 30 to 50 percent less than the cost of a new tire. This translates to more than $2 billion savings to motorists. With proper maintenance and care, retreaded tires will provide the same amount of service as new tires. Retreaded tires are as safe as new tires. Passenger, light pickup and 4x4 tires are retreaded according to standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation and carry a code number on the sidewall indicating where and when the tire was retreaded. Retreaded tires are used nearly worldwide on police cars, school buses, racing cars, airplanes, taxis, trucks and federal and military vehicles. Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that nearly all tires involved in any tire-related accident were underflated or bald. Properly maintained tires, whether new or retreaded, do not cause accidents. Scrap tire pieces seen on the roadways come from both new and retreaded tires. It is important to note that most of the scrap rubber on the road comes from truck tires and is caused by underinflation, truck overloading, and tire abuse. It is important to properly maintain your tires, whether new or retreaded. Your local tire dealer is the best place to care for your tires. Monthly air pressure checks are recommended to enhance performance and tire life. A list of your local tire retreaders can be located in the yellow pages of the telephone book. RETREADS - THE FACTS When the Australian Air Force FA-18 Hornet's touch down at 250km/h, or boeing 747 Jumbo passenger jets bump and screech along the runway, more often than not they are LANDING ON RETREADS ! For most fleets, tires represent the third largest item in their operating budget, right after labor and fuel costs. Fleet managers have found they can reduce their tire costs by at least 50 percent by retreading their casings at least twice. The lowest possible cost-per-mile is achieved with a good tire management program that includes the use of quality retreads. Retreads are the replacement tire of choice for most truckers.Of the 27 million replacement tires purchased by fleets last year, 16 million were retreads and only about 11 million were new replacement tires. Retreads are not only cost effective, but they are also dependable, reliable, and safe. Retreads are used by truckers with scheduled delivery times, small package deliverycompanies with guaranteed delivery times, on commercial and military jets and by most school bus operators. Retreads are also environmentally friendly. Tires are basically petrochemical products. It takes 22 gallons of oil to manufacture one new truck tire. Most of the oil is found in the casing, which is reused in the retreading process. As a result, it takes only 7 gallons of oil to produce a retreaded truck tire. Retreaders, like trucking companies, have experienced considerable consolidation. Today, the most successful retreaders are those with the highest quality products,delivering the best possible return on investment to the fleets.Because of the competitive nature of the retreading industry, truckers can expect to see continuous improvement in quality, durability and reliability, as the major retread suppliers annually invest millions of dollars in research and development 1998 FACT SHEET RETREADED TIRES FACTS & FIGURES Approximately 31.4 million retreaded tires were sold in North America* in 1997, with sales totaling approximately 2 billion dollars.4.6 million retreaded passenger car tires. 7.7 million retreaded light truck tires. 18.1 million retreaded medium and heavy truck tires. 980 thousand other retreaded tires (aircraft,off-the-road vehicles, industrial/lift trucks, motorcycles, farm equipment, specialty, etc.).600 million pounds of tread rubber was used by the North American* retread tire industry in 1997. There are approximately 1440 retreading plants in North America*, of which approximately 90 percent are owned/operated by independent small businesses whose collective investment is over one billion dollars. The remaining 10 percent are owned/operated by new tire manufacturers. All retreaded tires are identified as to manufacturer and date of production. * U.S. & Canada only. Figures for Mexico not available. Source: Tire Retreading/Repair Journal and independent research by the Tire Retread Information Bureau WHO BENEFITS FROM USING RETREADED TIRES Nearly 100 percent of the world's airlines use retreaded tires. Nearly 100 percent of off-the-road, heavy duty vehicles use retreaded tires.School buses and municipal vehicles use retreaded tires. Federal and military vehicles use retreaded tires. Postal Service vehicles use retreaded tires.Trucking fleets and overnight delivery vehicles use retreaded tires.Taxi fleets and industrial vehicles use retreaded tires. Race cars use retreaded tires.Fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles use retreaded tires. SAFETY FEATURES Retreaded tires are manufactured and processed according to the Federal Safety Standards developed by the U.S Department of Transportation. Retreaded tires can be driven at the same legal speeds-including highway and Interstate speeds-as comparable new tires, with no loss in safety or comfort. Commercial aircraft retreaded tires are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Military aircraft retreads are approved by the various military services. Retreaded truck tires are manufactured according to rigorous industry standards. Retreaded tires give the same mileage as comparable new tires, at a lower cost-per-mile.The cost of a retreaded tire will generally be from 30 to 50 percent less than the cost of a new tire. In 1997, this meant more than $2 billion savings for consumers and trucking fleets.Retreaded passenger tires generally carry a warranty comparable to new tire warranties.Steel belted radials are routinely retreaded and are available with all types of tread patterns, including all season and mud & snow tread patterns.Retreading greatly reduces solid waste disposal problems.Every tire retreaded is a tire saved from the landfill. Energy savings. Retreading conserves more than 400 million gallons of oil every year.Approximately 70 percent of the cost of a new tire is in the tire body. With proper maintenance, retreading permits the continued use of your important investment. On truck tires,often more than once. ECONOMIC BENEFITS The cost of a retreaded tire will usually be 30 to 50 percent less than the cost of a new tire.Each year this translates to more than $2 billion in savings motorists. ECOLOGY RETREADING IS RECYCLING! While it takes about 7 gallons of crude oil to manufacture one new passenger tire, a retreaded tire requires only 2.5 gallons. The savings in truck tire retreading is even greater. Each year we save approximately four hundred gallons of crude oil in North America by buying retreaded tires, In today's oil-scarce world, this saving is extremely important.Because of the retreading process,millions of tires will be recycled this year. So whether you are interested ineconomy or the ecology (or both), retreaded tires offer you a proven, practical method of reducing your tire expenses. CONSERVATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT. Tyre retreading is one of the oldest forms of recycling in Australia. Because the manufacture of a passenger tyre consumes around 30 litres of crude oil retreading a passenger car tyre conserves a minimum of 18 litres of this finite resource, retreading a truck tyre coserves a minimum of 60 litres. In addition to conserving well in excess of 160 million litres of oil annually the retreading industry saves 4 million tyres from disposal into the environment each year. SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ABOUT RUBBER ON THE ROAD Tire Debris on our Highways isn't Causeby Retreads According to data gathered by the Tire Debris Task Force, a group representing truck companies, retreaders, trucking & tire industry associations, new tire manufacturers and government agencies, most of the tire debris on our highways is caused by nail punctures: something that can happen to any tire, new or retread. This is closely followed by problems caused by underinflation, overloading, mismatching of tires on dual wheel positions and other improper maintenance and inspection procedures, again something that can occur with new tires or retreads. Although the public perceives retreads to be responsible for tire debris, the facts lead to quite a different conclusion, according to Peggy Fisher, an independent consultant to the tire industry out of Columbus, Ohio. Fisher reported that task force members and their employees recently retrieved 1070 pieces of rubber from heavy and medium truck tires. The rubber debris was collected at nine states across the U.S. Only 11 - or 1% - of the 1070 pieces analyzed could be attributed to retread failure. "This speaks well for retreads," said Fisher. "We in the tire and trucking industries know how good our product is and we will continue to educate the public to the fact that retreads offer the same safety and performance as new tires, but at a far lower price, and are not the cause of rubber on the road." Portions of this article originally appeared in Transport Topics. THE IDEAL MANUFACTURING PROCESS INITIAL INSPECTION First, your worn casing are thoroughly inspected toensure they meet our high retreading standards to judge its acceptability for processing. Our inspectors look for every cut, bruise, and puncture, as well as other damage to the tire body. Repairs are made using strong, flexible Ideal repair materials. THE IDEAL REPAIR SYSTEM Ideal repair materials are designed specifically for today's new generation tires. All repair procedures are an integral part of the total Ideal process. Nail hole injuries, crown injuries, and sidewall injuries can be repaired routinely. You save more valuable casings. BUFFING Buffing, removes the unwanted old, worn tread design. This process is called BUFFING The Ideal buffer works like a lathe as the tire is buffed, truing your inflated casing with utmost precision which provides a profile and surface texture in preparation for the application of a new tread.. That means a smoother running retread to satisfy your drivers and reduce vehicle maintenance. SECONDARY INSPECTION then takes place during which time any necessary correction work is carried out prior to continuation of the process. The application of a new tread and sometimes sidewall veneer is the next stage. This is called the BUILDING process. When the operator is satisfied that all criteria have been met the built tyre 

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