Wheels and Tyres! The first thing which comes to our mind is the old Indian bullockcarts wheel, which never fails in its lifetime and is made If bands of metal that are fitted around wooden wheels in order to prevent wear and tear.
But after the introduction of engine driven vehicles, Tubed Tyres have become the norm.Tube tyres, are basically made up of natural rubber and fabric along with other compound chemicals. They also consist of a tread for traction and body support of the vehicle.The vast majority of tires are pneumatic(pressurized-air) ones with a halogenated butyl rubber tube.
Traditional designs of pneumatic tyres required a separate inner tube which could fail because of incorrect tyre fitment or friction between the tyre wall and inner tube(due to lack of pressurized-air) generating excess heat causing a blowout of air.
In tube type tyres, the air is enclosed inside a tube, and the tube has the valve fitted to it. If an object pierces the tyre,it can cause the tube to burst just like a balloon or it makes a hole in the tube through which air comes out. As this happens, the tube gets smaller and the valve thus moves out of the rim hole. Thus the escaping air rushes out of the rim through the valve hole, leading to a immediate air loss.This immediate air loss or a blow out is dangerous due to loss of vehicle control during motion.
Tubeless tyre advantages
So when compared to tubed tyres, the tubeless tires provide great advantages in terms of safety, reliability, better ridehandling and improved mileage at the cost of its price and service. Though the tubeless tires are very new to Indian roads ,the fact is that they have been in use since the last half century in other countries, as well since decades in our SAARC neighbouring countries.
There is no tube in a tubeless tyre. The tyre and the rim of the wheel form an airtight container to seal the air as the tubeless tyre has an inner lining of impermeable halobutyl. The valve is directly mounted on the rim. If a tubeless tyre gets punctured, air escapes only through the hole created by the nail, thus giving substantial time between a puncture and a flat tyre.
Features of the tubeless tires:
The blowouts and high speed air loss are extremely rare which results in better safety and vehicle in drivers control.
When an object pierces the tyre, there is no tube to burst and the valve does not move out of the rim hole as it is fixed there. Thus there is no option available for air to escape.Though there is a some loss of air , the construction of the tyre mostly enables the rubber to hold the object tight & prevent further air loss.
It is suitable for high speed performance and comfortable driving due to the strengthened edge construction for better sealing with rim of tyres. Also there is an improved mileage due to light weight of the tyre compared to tube tyres.
In India ,initially SUV’s such as the Suzuki Grand Vitara, Chevrolet Forester, Ford Endeavour and Honda CRV use tubeless tyres.
Today cars such as the Honda Accord, Honda City ,Opel Vectra, the full Mercedes range, Chevrolet Optra, Honda Civic, and even the
higher variants of the Ford Ikon and Toyota Qualis all use tubeless tyres to the additional features available for driving on the Indian roads.
Mahesh (MGIT ECE 4th year)
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