There are ways to reuse and recycle tires so that rubber possessing redevelopment capability does not have to go to waste. The methods of reusing and recycling tires are becoming more diversified as ecological demands have been put on tire manufacturers. However, there's one method of reusing a tire that has been practiced for many years; the retread.
What is a Retread?
When considering a simple definition of a retread or a retreaded tire, the process is just what the name suggests. When the tread becomes worn on a tire to the point of needing to be replaced, the tire is removed and put through one of two methods.
Within this process, new rubber is added to the tire body of an old tire, allowing for the tire to essentially become new again. Retreading deals specifically with the development of new tread within a tire design, but it is dependent on the overall condition of the old tire. If a tire has a damaged sidewall, is manufactured as a "run-flat" or possesses any other potential hazards, it is not eligible for retread.
How is a Retread Done?
Those who have heard of retreads often have a misconception of what a retread actually is. There are processes in which individuals will try to create tread on a bald tire by tearing away at the surface. This is not a retread and is an activity that should be avoided at all costs.
There are a couple of different methods in which retreads are produced. There is a hot method using a mold, and a cold method, in which pre-cured rubber is used. In the hot method, raw rubber is laid to the prepared tire surface after the old tread has been completely removed. As the hot, raw rubber is put onto this surface, it is covered and cured with a mold. As the rubber vulcanizes, it bonds with the old tire, creating a new tread.
The cold method is somewhat similar, yet a previously constructed tread band is added to the buffed tire and then bonded with the old tire.
Vehicles That Rely on Retread Tires
There are many vehicles that rely on the process of retread in order to keep costs down. Most notable are the big rigs or the transport trucks that boast multiple dual-wheel set-ups throughout the standard 48' and 53' trailers. These tires are incredibly expensive because their interior construction is so durable. It makes economic sense to retread the tires as they become worn.
This is especially true for the tires on trailers and on the rear axles of the trucks as they remain stationary in regard to lateral movement. Retreading tires for passenger cars is not an efficient, economical or safe process. Consumers who drive passenger vehicles should purchase a set of completely new tires. The result is much safer and less time consuming than getting worn tires retread.
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