A Tire Happenings Synopsis
The point of this thread is to update those who may not know about some of the innovations regarding the current tire market. Goofy or not, the tire industry has a lot of new ideas heading our way. Some will be appreciated by the masses and some, only by those small groups.
The Michelin Man first appeared as a tire marketing symbol in 1898. One of the first questions asked about him was, "Why Wasn't He Black?" Simple answer, tires weren't black until 1912 when makers first began to use Carbon Black as a preservative and strengthening agent. Previously, tires were a Gray-White or a light, translucent beige.
Something else about tires, tires have a wax-like lubricant in the rubber. If a tire doesn't spin or roll in a reasonable period of time it dries out and you are introduced to tire rot. So, its true, use it or lose it. When you purchase a new tire you can feel this wax-like lubricant on the tire. The first pure rubber tires were as hard a rock, then synthetic rubber came along and gave us that flexible bounce we now enjoy. Keeping all this happy is, Carbon Black.
One Patent States: "A high structured carbon black having a relatively large particle size and high surface activity is provided for use in the tread rubber of a pneumatic tire. Tires made using Black demonstrates improved irregular wear and roll resistance properties,"
Okay, that means a tire without carbon black will wear and deteriorate faster than tires with carbon black. Now, that should give you some idea as to why manufacturers are not making 100% colored tires as a common practice.
Yes, some colored tires are being made and have been for sometime, I suppose you could call them "Tuner Toys?" Kumho has the Kumho ECSTA MX-C colored smoking tires and have had them since May 2005. They are for the drifting and burn-out fans. However, at $ 1.995.00 PER TIRE, I can't afford to play. I have also read that the tire is not for street use (right!} and are not safe a cold temperatures around 32 degrees. Also, the gummy effect of the spinning tire causing the required heat to activate the Blue, Red or Yellow smoke leaves a really, messy gook under your car and around the fender wells, but its a great crowd pleaser.
Kumho also has the AROMA tire which is scented with Orange, Lavender or Jasmine scents. Called the ECSTA DX, its targeting the female customers.
Another company, Innova from Taiwan produces colored cycle tires by using color pigmented rubber. Now, remember, you have a choice off no carbon black which means a shorter tire life than with it. I have included a picture of one of the Innova cycle tires just for G.P.
So, as a guy who enjoys adding color to tires, I have found a sanctuary here, you think? I have had to overcome several problems to find a coloring process that works on black tires. Carbon black bleeds through almost any color you put on a tire unless, its thick like syrup, then it cracks and fades.
Some of you have tried adding coloring to your own tires and that black, bleed through is the carbon black being pressured through the sidewall as the tire spins. Without an adequate barrier between the color and the tire, you will fail to have a lasting, durable color, its as simple as that.
Last edited by hobbytires; 12-06-2007 at 03:28 PM.