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Truck Tyre Basics

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Truck Tyre Basics

1999 by Continental AG Hannover All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or re-produced in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of Continental AG. The contents of this publication are the result of many years of research and experience gained in application technology. All information is given in good faith; it does not represent a guarantee with respect to characteristics and does not exempt the user from testing the suitability of products and from ascertaining that the industrial property rights of third parties are not violated. No liability whatsoever will be accepted for damage regardless of its nature and its legal basis - arising from advice given in this publication. This does not apply in the event that we or our legal representatives or management are found guilty of having acted with intent or gross negligence. No liability is borne for damage due to ordinary negligence. This exclusion of liability applies also to the personal liability of our legal representatives and employees and other persons employed in fulfilling an obligation. We reserve the right to effect technical changes in the course of product development. MC 11/99

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Printed in Germany

Truck Tyre Basics

List of contents

Introduction From the crossply to the radial tyre From the 5 to the 15 tapered rim Development of low profile tyres The materials that make up a truck tyre Tyre components and their functions Sidewall markings The most important markings Units of measurement and definitions Tyre manufacture - a glimpse inside the factory Tyre tips Tread depth Tyre inflation Regrooving Storing tyres

4 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 15

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20 20 21 21

Introduction

Truck Tyre Basics

The good old pneumatic tyre is now well over a hundred years old, and has not really changed much from its original concept. John Boyd Dunlop registered this pneumatic tyre with the British Patent Office in 1888 and is therefore generally considered to be its inventor. Whether he was the first person or the second to register this patent - the pneumatic tyre is now an indispensable feature of our motorised society. Market surveys carried out in Europe reveal that nowadays more than threequarters of all freight is transported by truck. In comparison, the next most popular mode of transport, the railway, carries only an eighth of the total.

Tonnage distribution across individual modes of transport

Truck

77 12 4

Rail

Inland waterways Aeroplane

3 0

E W
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80%
Source: EMNID-Institut

Truck Tyre Basics

These impressive figures do, however, reveal clearly that commercial vehicle tyres are used in a wide range of applications and therefore have to meet many different requirements.

First and foremost a tyre must have an adequate load capacity and be able to transmit drive brake and lateral forces under all conditions.

Demands made on a truck tyre (snow- and ice-free road surface)


Driving safety Durability Economy Comfort

Tyre fit on the rim Resistance to shedding Airtightness

Power transfer

Structural longterm durability Reliability at speed

Service life

Suspension characteristics Driving noise

Braking deceleration

Wear pattern

Lateral acceleration

Blow-out resistance

Sidewall wear

True running

Traction

Impact resistance

Rolling resistance

Stone deflection Avoidance of tread pattern breakup

Regroovability

Remouldability

Truck Tyre Basics From the crossply to the radial tyre


After the invention of the pneumatic tyre, it was a further thirty years before the first crossply tyres were developed for commercial vehicles. Progress in commercial vehicle technology imposed substantial requirements on crossply tyres which - despite all the advances made - they were eventually unable to meet. It was only with the introduction of the radial tyre concept, where substantially improved design and materials meant the tyre could meet the necessary requirements, that development was able to progress and reach the standards we have today.

Crossply tyre

Radial tyre

The fabric plies (1) cross over each other at the same angle. Used by Continental for: Tyres for twowheeled vehicles Agricultural tyres Industrial tyres EM tyres Multi-purpose tyres (MPT)

The belt (1) and casing plies (2) overlap at different angles. Used by Continental for: Tyres for cars, Agricultural tyres trucks and Multi-purpose tyres two-wheeled vehicles (MPT) Industrial tyres

There are very distinct differences in the construction of radial and crossply tyres. Whereas the carrying air container on crossply tyres is made from criss crossing layers of rubberised fabric, on radial tyres it is formed by radially running plies (casing plies) of rubberised cord (on commercial vehicle tyres steel cord is normally used). A so-called belt, made up of 3-5 rubberised steel cord belt plies, prevents or reduces tread deformation caused by tyre deflection or swelling when the tyre is inflated.

On firm road surfaces the radial tyre is superior to the crossply tyre in many ways. One of the strong points of the crossply tyre, however, is its good selfcleaning tread pattern; its stiffer sidewalls also enhance resistance to tipping on vehicles with a high centre of gravity, such as cranes. The radial tyre, however, definitely dominates today's truck sector.

Truck Tyre Basics From the 5 to the 15 tapered rim

Inner tube

Flap

Sealing ring 5o tapered rim tube-type tubeless 15o tapered rim tubeless

In the development of the radial tyre, the multipiece 5 tapered rim from the crossply tyre was initially used, in conjunction with an inner tube and flap. In the course of further development, the onepiece 15 rim used in the car sector was adopted.

This type of rim offers substantial advantages in terms of true running, weight reduction and automatic fitting options. Compared with conventional rims, the newly-designed bead seat means improved true running and also the option of a reduced height:width (H:W) ratio.

Truck Tyre Basics Development of low profile tyres


275

10.00 R 20
A 1052

Rim Load capacity (kg per axle)

S TW

7.50 6,000 10,900 8.0

Tyre inflation (bar)

11 R 22.5
A 1050

271

Rim Load capacity (kg per axle)

S TW

7.50 6,300 11,600 8.5

Tyre inflation (bar)

275/80 R 22.5
A 1028

281

Rim Load capacity (kg per axle)

S TW

8.25 6,300 11,600 8.5

Tyre inflation (bar)

267

275/70 R 22.5
A 961

Rim Load capacity (kg per axle)

S TW

7.50 6,300 11,600 8.5

Tyre inflation (bar)

285/60 R 22.5
A 914

277

Rim Load capacity (kg per axle)

S TW

8.25 6,300 11,600 8.5

Tyre inflation (bar)

In addition to reduced outer dimensions (lowering the vehicle height) and weight savings, a reduced H:W ratio means further advantages in performance characteristics, such as quiet running steering precision and good wear pattern. A tyre's load capacity is determined primarily by its volume and inner pressure.

This means that for each inner pressure (= tyre inflation) there is a calculated load capacity. The tyre inflation should be adjusted in line with the axle weights specified by the vehicle manufacturer and the actual weights in operation. Under-inflation impairs driving performance and wear pattern, increases rolling resistance and, as a result, fuel consumption. Under-inflation over a longer period leads to premature casing damage or to total tyre failure.

Truck Tyre Basics The materials that make up a truck tyre


A tyre comprises different components, all of which contain elements in varying compositions. These elements vary with the size and type of tyre. Listed in the example below are the elements used for the 315/80 R 22.5 HSL tyre. This particular tyre weighs approximately 62 kg.

7 6 1 Tyre example: HSL 315/80 R 22.5

5 2 4 3

Compound:
1 2 3 4 Natural rubber Synthetic rubber Halogen butyl rubber Other chemicals (accessory agents, plasticiser, preservative, vulcanising agents) 18.8 kg 3.4 kg 1.23 kg 17.3 kg 30.5% 5.6%

Structural components:
5 Core wire (electro-plated steel wire) Nylon fabric Steel cord (electro-plated stranded steel wire) 8.5 kg 13.8%

6 2.0% 7 28.1%

0.12 kg 12.2 kg

0.2% 19.8%

Truck Tyre Basics Tyre components and their functions

3 4

6 7

10

Truck Tyre Basics

Tread strip
Material Function Rubber compound The tread strip has to provide high wear resistance and good grip under all road conditions. In some instances the tread strip combines two different materials (cap and base); the base is there to minimise the tread temperature and the rolling resistance.

Multi-ply steel belt


Material Function Steel cords embedded in rubber compound Enhances driving stability, reduces rolling resistance and gives the tyre its long service life. Restricts casing growth and increases the tyre's structural strength.

Steel casing
Material Function Steel cord Gives the tyre its structural strength and its deflection characteristics; substantially determines driving comfort.

Inner lining
Material Function Rubber compound Major factor in preventing diffusion of air and moisture in tubeless tyres.

Sidewall
Material Function Rubber compound Protects from lateral scuffing and the effects of the weather.

Bead reinforcement
Material Function Nylon, aramide, steel cord Securing the end of the steel cord ply on the bead core. Reinforcing the bead against high shear forces.

Bead core
Material Function Steel wire embedded in rubber compound Ensures the tyre sits firmly on the rim.

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Truck Tyre Basics Sidewall markings

7
I TW

10 1 5 5a 6
TR E SID AD: EW 5 AL PLI L: E 1 S S TU PL TE E BE Y ST L LE EE L LO AD

9
L LD PS DIA 120 I CO RA AT T 120 PS A E LBS B L 70 BS VA L E 82 85 L O O SING AL 73 G R OA D D U REAX. L . LOAD
H
M AX M

SS
GE

N RA

1a

LD I CO

3 1 5 /8 0 R 2 2 . 5

CATION/IMPROPER INFLATION/ TO MISAPPLI URE DUE TIRE MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTION E FAIL S -- FOLLOW * TYR ADING RE FREQUEN TLY WITH GAUGE : OVERLO FLATION PRESSU IN CHECK

12 4 13 3
154 /1

DOT ??3 W

MADE IN ???

KLKF
109

M: -FRO ULT OUNTING RES M ER LY M AY RY MPROP E ON I OS NJU S I E TO R H RES. IOU DU ON AI NT TI SER B LY NSI MOU G: EM E IN IM ASS-ON EXT OULD N SH AR E/R LIP NS W F TIR E & C ERSO TY N O CAG ED P FE OSIO ETY RAIN SAEXPL SAF LLY T E IA * US EC SP

50 L

11
E4
?? ?? ??

15 14 0 9 M

Designations on the tyre meet both the US standard FMVSS 119 and the European standard ECE R 54, and refer to tyre characteristics.

Explanation DOT = US Department of Transportation ETRTO = The European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation, Brussels ECE = Economic Commission for Europe (UN Institution in Geneva) FMVSS = Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard

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Truck Tyre Basics Legal and standardised markings used on the tyre sidewall
1 Manufacturer (brand name or logo) 7 TWI Tread Wear Indicator Recommended application only Continental Truck Tyres Regroovable The manufacturer has designed the tyre for regrooving

1a Tread pattern reference 2 Size designation 315 = tyre width in mm 80 = aspect ratio (section height to section width) =80% R = radial construction 22.5 = rim diameter (code) Service description consisting of 154 = load index for single fitment 150 = load index for dual fitment L = code letter for speed rating Country of manufacture US load designation of single/dual fitment and indication of max. inflation pressure in psi (1 bar = 14.5 psi)

10 Tubeless Tube Type 11 E = tyres complies with value set forth in ECE-R 54 = country code for the country in which the approval number was issued (here: 4 = Netherlands)

4 5

12 DOT = U.S. Department of Transportation (responsible for tyre safety standards) 13 Manufacturer code: Tyre factory Tyre size Tyre model Date of manufacture (Production week/year)

5a Load range in accordance with US standard 6 Data as per US safety standard on inner construction or number of plies, in this case Tread: under the tread there are five steel cord plies (including carcass) Sidewall: viewed from the side there is one steel cord ply (in this case the carcass ply)

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Truck Tyre Basics The most important markings

Speed Index:
Index Speed in km/h (mph) F 80 50 G 90 56 J 100 62 K 110 68 L 120 75 M 130 81 N 140 87

Load Index:
Index 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156

Load capacity (kg/Tyre) 3075 3150 3250 3350 3450 3550 3650 3750 3875 4000

Example of tyre marking:

315/80 R 22.5
315 80 R 22.5 154 150 M 156 ( L) 150 tubeless

154/150 M

156 L 150

tubeless

tyre width in mm cross-sectional ratio H:W in % radial design nominal rim diameter of 15 tapered rim (code) 3750 kg tyre load capacity S (single tyre fitment) 3350 kg tyre load capacity Tw (twin tyre fitment) Speed 130 km/h (81 mph) alternative permitted operating code tubeless

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Truck Tyre Basics Units of measurement and definitions


As a matter of principle the technical data in the tables always complies with the international standards as specified by ISO and the ETRTO. Further details such as other tyre sizes or designs, plus the static radius and the rolling circumference comply with DIN/WdK Guidelines. Lengths are given in millimetres (mm). Tyre pressure tyre inflation pressure is given in Bar based on cold tyre. Outer diameter New*) is a nominal size which refers to the tread centre. Max. outer diameter in service is the maximum diameter permitted in the tread centre as a result of permanent growth during tyre use. Dynamic deformations are not included. Cross-section width New*) is a nominal size which refers to the smooth tyre wall. Max. operational width is the maximum permitted width. This includes scuff ribs, decorative ribs, lettering and permanent growth during use. Dynamic deformations are not included. Static radius is the distance from the tyre centre to the ground level. Measurements are checked on fitted-tyres inflated to the tyre pressure specified in DIN 70020 Part 5. Rolling circumference is the distance covered by each revolution of the tyre. Load capacities are given in kgs (weight in the sense of mass) Dual-tyre spacing Maintaining the minimum spacing distance ensures that the two tyres in a dual fitment arrangement function without any infringing the ETRTO standards providing the tyres are not fitted with chains. In the course of development, a variety of designations for tyre dimensions have been introduced, some of which are used concurrently. The following combination is most frequently used: tyre width in mm, then H : W (height : width) in % and finally the codes for the tyre construction - for example R for radial and - for crossply - and the nominal rim diameter. When planning vehicle wheel space, automotive designers must proceed on the basis of the maximum values for tyre width and outer diameter, taking into account the tyre`s static and dynamic deformation. In this way they ensure that all standardly approved tyres will fit in all cases. If this is not possible in exceptional cases, appropriate measures are to be taken to exclude any possible risk to safety. PR The ply rating, or PR for short, is an internationally used standard for the structural strength of the tyre sub-structure. The term stems from the time when cotton was still used for the fabric sub-structure. In those days PR actually referred to the number of plies. When materials with greater strength were introduced, the same structural durability was achieved with fewer plies. PR therefore now refers to a load capacity category and is being increasingly replaced by the Load Index. *) Construction size

maximum operational width

M
A

B new cross-sectional width

M = Dual-tyre spacing
f

A = Outer diameter on the tyre r = static radius f = deflection under load

clear rim width

B and new when using the measuring rim

Rim H tyre new Maximum tyre in operation

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Tyre manufacture - a glimpse inside the factory.


Supplier industries Manufacturing compounds

Truck Tyre Basics


Manufacture of semi-finished products Steel cord

1
Measuring out the natural rubber Manufacture of steel cord Steel cord calenders Cutting to size of steel cord

Steel industry

Tread strip

2
Measuring out the raw materials and accessory agents Tread strip extruder Checking weight per metre Cooling tread strips

Chemical industry

Textile cord

3
Preparing the basic compound Production of textile cord Textile cord calenders Cutting to size of textile cord

Steel core
Natural rubber production

Uncoiling core wire Finalising the compound

Coating core wire

Re-coiling core wire

Sidewall/ Inner lining

10

Textile industry

Shaping the compound into transportable units

Sidewall extrusion

Inner lining calendering

16

Truck Tyre Basics


Assembly Vulcanisation Quality control

11

12

13

Optical final check

Cutting to size of tread strip

Checking single weights

Bringing together the Inner lining Bead cores Steel casing Sidewalls

Pre-treatment of the moulded blank X-ray check

Checking imbalances

Bead core ring

Applying bead core profile

Assembly of the tread layer

Vulcanising the tyre

Checking uniformity fluctuations

Laser holography

Every individual production stage - from evaluation of the raw materials to delivery of the finished tyre - is subject to constant quality control.

17

Truck Tyre Basics

Tyre production - how a truck tyre is made

Supplier industries and manufacturing compounds The tyre industry draws its raw materials from various sectors of industry. After appropriate pre-treatment, these materials are then further processed to form individual semi-finished products.

7 The ductile material manufactured in the mixing


plant is extruded to form a continuous strip. After extrusion, the weight is checked and the tread strip immersed in a cooling tank. Once it has been cut to the required lengths the weight is re-checked.

Tread strips

1 the basic material used in the manufacture of

The steel industry provides high tensile steel,

8 A number of individual textile fibres are fed into


the calender via special coiling devices and then embedded in a thin layer of natural rubber. This continuous belt is cut to the required widths on the shearing machine and rolled up for further transport.

Textile cord

the belt and the casing (steel cord), as well as in the bead cores (steel wire).

2 raw materials and accessory agents needed in


tyre manufacture. These are primarily various synthetic rubbers and additives, which affect, for example, the tyre's wear resistance, grip and ageing stability.

The chemical industry supplies a variety of

9 The core of a tyre bead is made up of several


steel wires, shaped to form a ring and individually coated with rubber. This ring is then additionally covered with a core profile made from rubber compound.

Steel bead core

3 by cutting into the bark. The milky-like liquid

Natural rubber is extracted from specific trees

(latex) clots when acids are added and, once it has been washed with water, it is pressed to form solid bales.

10 The extruder is used to produce sidewall


patterns featuring different geometry, depending on the tyre size. The inner lining is impermeable to gases and is extruded on the calender to a wide, thin layer.

Sidewall/inner lining

4 materials for cord manufacture: rayon, nylon,


polyester and aramide fibres. These are used, for example, to manufacture bead reinforcements. Natural and synthetic rubber bales are divided 5 up, appropriate quantities measured out, weighed and mixed with other additives in several stages, in accordance with strictly specified recipes. More than ten different natural rubber compounds are processed to form the individual components of modern tyres. These individual tyre components and their functions are described in detail on pages 10 and 11. Manufacture of semi-finished products 6 Steel cord Steel cord, pre-treated and delivered on bobbins, is fed into a calender via special coiling devices. It is then embedded in one or more layers of natural rubber. Depending on the tyre size, this continuous belt is cut at a specific angle and to specified dimensions using guillotine shears; it is then rolled up for further transport.

The textile industry provides the basic

11 The semi-finished products manufactured in the


various individual stages referred to above are gathered on the assembly machine and combined in two stages (casing and tread layer) to form a moulded blank. Before being vulcanised, the moulded blank" is sprayed with a special liquid. In the vulcanisation press heat, pressure and time give it its final shape.

Assembly and vulcanisation

12

13 After vulcanisation, the tyres are checked


optically and undergo various other checks. Once the tyres have passed all the tests, they are taken to the delivery warehouse to be prepared for despatch.

Final quality controls and despatch

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Truck Tyre Basics

In the factory in Hannover-Stcken, tyres for cars and commercial vehicles have been manufactured for over 50 years.

The Research & Development Department is also located in Continental's Hannover-Stcken site.

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Tyre tips

Truck Tyre Basics

Tread depth
The following requirements are law in the majority of European countries: Pneumatic tyres on trucks and trailers have to feature tread grooves or sipes round their entire circumference and over the whole width of the tread area. The main grooves on truck tyres have to have a tread depth of at least 1 mm, 1.6 mm or 2 mm, depending on the law in each country. The limit in the UK is 1mm. The depth of the tread pattern is to be measured in the grooves or sipes; bridge-like protrusions or reinforcements in the tread base should be ignored in this context. On tyres with wear indicators (TWI = Tread Wear Indicators), the tread depth should be measured in the grooves where the wear indicators are located. Wear indicators on commercial vehicle tyres are bridge-like protrusions 1.6 mm high, which show whether the tyre has reached the wear limit. The tread depth should therefore never be measured on the wear indicators, but next to them. N.B. Consult your local Continental office for legislation regarding specific countries.

Tyre inflation
One of the most important causes of excessive tyre wear and damage is incorrect tyre pressure. Service manuals produced by the vehicle manufacturers and technical documentation from the tyre manufacturers provide information about correct tyre pressure. These values apply without exception to the cold tyre, as the inner pressure of the tyre increases in operation. Tyre pressure should be checked every 2 weeks, at the latest every 4, on the cold tyre. Spare tyres must also be checked.
Service life in %
100 80

60

40

20

0 120 100 80 60 40

Tyre pressure in % of the recommended value

Example: Service life in relation to tyre pressure (100% = recommended value)

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Truck Tyre Basics

Tyre tips

Under inflation leads to increased flexing, which makes the tyre overheat and may cause tyre failure; increased wear = shorter service life; higher rolling resistance and subsequently increased fuel consumption; irregular wear. When checking tyre pressure an optical inspection of the tyre for external damage (e.g. embedded nails or screws) should also be made. Missing valve caps and leaky valves should be replaced immediately.

Regrooving
Tyres which can be regrooved are designated

REGROOVABLE
on the sidewall area. These tyres feature an additional rubber layer" between the belt sector and the tread grooves, which is currently between 2 and 4 mm depending on the tyre size and tread pattern. This rubber layer can be used to achieve a longer tyre service life by having the tyre regrooved once the appropriate wear limit is reached on the original tread pattern. A basic continuous layer of 2 mm must still cover the belt.
Steel Cord 1. Tread depth of new tyre 2. Additional tread depth through regrooving 3. Remaining basic thickness to protect the steel belt

1 2 3

Regrooving is best carried out in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Storing tyres
Tyres should be stored in cool, dry, dark and moderately ventilated rooms. Tyres which are not fitted on rims should be stored standing up. Avoid contact with fuel, lubricants, solvents and chemicals. Tyres age more quickly if exposed to direct sunlight or heat.

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