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Know Your Tyres

There’s a lot more to your tyres than just rubber. Find out how a tyre is made, why your tyres are so important to the safety and performance of your vehicle and the benefits of choosing a premium tyre.

How tyres are made

This process involves specially-formulated materials and internal construction that varies according to the intended use. At Bridgestone, each step is designed to ensure every tyre is made with the same renowned attention to quality.

Mixing the materials

Various grades of natural and synthetic rubber are mixed with carbon black, sulphur and chemical products to meet specific requirements. This master batch is then formed into rubber sheets.

Extruding the tread

The rubber is re-heated and fed through extruders, where the tread and sidewalls are formed from two different rubber compounds. The extruders produce a continuous sheet, which is cut to specific tyre lengths.

Weaving the plies

Spinning cords such as rayon, nylon, steel and polyester are woven into sheets and coated with rubber (called calendaring). The sheets are cut into specific sizes and used for casing and cap plies, while steel cords are used for the belts.

Preparing the bead core

The bead core is formed by aligning, and then coating, plated steel wires with rubber. It’s then wound on a coil to form bead rings, which provide a specific diameter and strength for a particular tyre.

Building process

The inner liner, body plies and sidewalls are placed on the building drum. The bead rings are positioned, the ply edges are wrapped around the bead core and the sidewalls are moved into position. The tyre is shaped by inflating the rubber and applying sidetread rubber, two steel belts and a cap ply to make a "green" tyre.

Vulcanisation

The tyre is placed in a curing press for between 10 and 15 minutes at a specific pressure and temperature. This creates the tyre’s final size, shape and tread.

Trimming

Excess rubber is removed and the tyre is trimmed to order.

Final inspection

Each tyre is visually and electronically inspected for balance, quality and uniformity.


Why are tyres important?

Your tyres are essential for safe driving; they are the only link between your vehicle and the road – a critical contact area no bigger than the palm of your hand.

Tyres have 4 vital functions:
  • Provide grip for braking and acceleration
  • Maintain steering and directional control
  • Support the weight of the vehicle
  • Act as a shock absorber for vibrations from the road

Tread design

The tread is the grooved outer layer of your tyre that is in direct contact with the road. The rubber compound is designed to grip the road, resist general wear and tear and cope with high temperatures generated by friction.

Sufficient tread is vital to keep you safe in all conditions. New tyres come with at least 7mm of tread. The legal tread limit is 1.6mm – anything below can incur a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 points for each illegal tyre. Recent research is calling for the legal limit to be raised to 3mm.

In an emergency, the risks are many times greater if tread depth is close to the legal limit. Braking distances are significantly increased as a tyre becomes more worn. The level of tread becomes imperative in the wet, where worn tyres contribute to 1 in 10 accidents in wet conditions*.

*AA Motoring Trust


Tyre types

Every tyre works at its best when correctly positioned. Here are the three general categories of tyre, along with where they need to be placed.

Directional tyres

These have arrows on the sidewall, which, when mounted, should point in the direction the tyre will rotate when the vehicle is moving forward.

Asymmetric tyres

These have "inside" and "outside" printed on the sidewall and should be mounted accordingly.

Composite tyres

Both directional and asymmetric, these can only be mounted on the specified part of the car indicated (i.e. "inner side right").


Why choose a premium tyre

There really is truth in the statement "You get what you pay for". Let's look at what a Bridgestone premium tyre means in everyday, on the road terms.

Research and development

Bridgestone are global leaders in developing new technologies for road tyres. With over 14 years experience at the forefront of Formula 1™ they invest over £300 million a year on research and development.

Added safety

Enhanced braking, better steering control and improved wet grip gives an all-round safer driving experience.

Performance

Bridgestone work closely with vehicle manufacturers and are specified as original equipment in the widest range of makes and models. Fitting our tyres will ensure best compatibility and performance.

Extra fuel saving

Premium tyres can reduce rolling resistance, saving you money and helping to protect the environment.

Value and total satisfaction

Longer lasting and slower wear rates ensure better value for money. Bridgestone gives total satisfaction when it comes to noise, comfort, ride, handling and steering response.

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