A tire is made up of many different components. Working together, these components are able to offer a smoother ride, better fuel efficiency, high performance capability, and, depending on your needs, maximum off-road capability.
Some tires are designed to navigate slippery terrain, including ice and snow. Tires come in a wider variety than the cars available to put them on. For every vehicle, there are multiple tire options that offer different capabilities and meet the standards of the vehicle manufacturer or the particular standards and desires of the drive.
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One tire component that is crucial for responsive handling, resiliency, and versatility is the tread void. Tread voids are completely necessary for tires used on vehicles for commercial and personal use. The only auto tires that don't have tread voids are professional racing tires, which cannot be used safely on roadways or in wet conditions.
A tire's tread consists of several components. The most obvious ones are the tread blocks and tread voids. Tread blocks are the raised pieces of the tread, which exist in many different shapes and dynamics based on the intended use of the tire. The tread void is the area between the tread blocks, which give the blocks flexibility. This flexibility allows for greater traction and handling because the tire can adapt to the road under pressure as necessary.
The Importance of the Tread Void
As every driver knows, paved roadways come in all shapes and forms. They differ in everything from pavement material to bumpiness and can present many potential hazards. Tires must be able to respond to the many conditions that they might face, and the tread voids on a tire play an integral role in this process.
Tread void is also an important aspect of a tire when it comes to wet weather driving. This is true for driving in the rain, sleet, snow, or any other form of inclement weather. The tread void aids in channeling away any moisture that may interfere with a tire's traction. For example, during rain, the water on the roadway fills the tread void and is pushed away from the tire.
Tires designed for wet weather driving may possess a specialized rain groove. The depth provided in the tread void will allow for safer driving by creating a contact patch that's capable of remaining in contact with the road surface beneath the moisture.
Other Aspects of The Tread Void
Depending on the tire design, the tread void may also possess what is known as wear bars. These are also found in the grooves, again, depending on tire design. These slightly raised bars are indicators of a tread's wear. They lift out of the tread void and/or tread groove, at least 2/32 of an inch; the minimum amount of tread that is required by law for tire safety. These tire components working together make it easier to visually inspect and maintain tires.
Maintaining Tire Tread Void
Looking at your tire is a good way to check the state of your tread void. Problems to keep an eye out for include uneven tread wear, or deformations that are uncommon or uncharacteristic. Hazardous materials such as glass or scrap metal may also find their way into tread voids. Caution should be taken when removing such items. A set of needle-nose pliers may help you, but we recommend leaving the removal of objects from your tires to tire technicians. They're most capable of judging the damage done to the tires and evaluating the safety of your tires.
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