Tire maintenance & safety

Radial Tire Construction: Overview & Maintenance

There are many different types of tire constructions. Within the classification of pneumatic tires, there are three common designs: bias tires, belted-bias tires, and radial tires. Tires with a radial design have quickly become the most popular for use on automobiles. Tire radial construction differs from that of bias tires, as well as other tire designs such as solid tires or semi-pneumatic tires. There are distinct benefits to tire radial design including vehicle responsiveness and efficiency.

Tire Radial Construction

There's more to a tire than what meets the eye. Behind the tread, shoulder, and sidewall, several inner components give a tire its stability. This stability comes from a series of tire plies.

A tire ply is a layer of material that's attached to the tire bead (the inner cable that runs along the inside of the tire and holds it to the rim). Layers of steel, nylon, or other flexible and strong materials are added to the tire rubber in order to support the tire from the inside out. Without this support, the tire could easily become deformed or experience severe damage.

Radial tire construction is unique in that the plies that run through the inside of the tire are horizontal from bead to bead. In other words, these tire plies run perpendicularly, or at a 90-degree angle to the direction of the tread or the rolling direction of the tire.

The Benefits of Tire Radial Design

Radial tires offer ride comfort similar to the other kinds of tires on the market, yet they also offer better strength and stability. This increases the ability to maneuver quickly and precisely. Another benefit of radial tires is their relatively low rolling resistance. This means that the tire rolls more easily while requiring less power from the vehicle's engine. Less engine power increases fuel efficiency. Who doesn't want to save on gas money? In addition to driving and handling benefits, the introduction of radial tire technology also changed the design and manufacturing of automobiles.

Growth of Tire Radials

When radial tires were first introduced and incorporated into automotive design, there was some resistance from consumers who had become accustomed to the ride and feel of bias tires. However, after the Ford Motor Company began to experiment with automotive design to better incorporate improved tire technology, cars and trucks actually became more efficient, more maneuverable, and lighter. Before the advent of quality radial tires, many automotive design engineers were stuck compensating for the drawbacks of using bias tires. See how important tires are?

Maintaining Tire Radial Tires

Checking your tires' air pressure at least once a month is a simple way to maintain them. Additionally, have your tires rotated every 5,000 - 6,000 miles to help them wear evenly.

Maintaining radial tires is rather simple for any driver. The general rule of thumb is when in doubt, ask. There are qualified tire technicians and mechanics at auto dealerships that are capable of giving you advice and maintenance procedures that meet the exact specifications of your vehicle.

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