- Tires are black because of the material called carbon black. It increases the overall durability of the rubber by increasing the material’s abrasion resistance, tensile strength, and heat absorption capabilities.
- Some benefits of using black tires include the prevention of static shock, an increase in durability, and improved heat absorption.
- You can get tires in different colors, but they usually won’t last as long as black tires because they take more damage from UV light and the ozone.
If you stop to sit by the road and watch countless cars go by, there’s a good chance almost all the vehicles you see will have black tires. Have you ever stopped to wonder why this is the case? What’s stopping someone from getting tires in a different color like red, white, or blue?
As stylish as colored tires sound, they’re quite impractical.
This is because colored tires lack the crucial component that is carbon black, and the black color of tires made with this material comes with a lot of benefits.
What is Carbon Black?
Tires get their black color from a material called carbon black, which is also known as thermal black or furnace black. This material is one of the most important components of tire manufacturing since it increases the overall durability of the rubber used. It accomplishes this by increasing the material’s abrasion resistance, tensile strength, and heat absorption capabilities.
Tire Black Pros: Why Use Black Tires?
There are a lot of pros that come with using black tires, and this is largely due to the use of carbon black in the manufacturing process. Here are some of the biggest benefits black tires have to offer.
Prevents Static Shock
The presence of carbon black in tires makes the rubber more electrically conductive, preventing static from building up. Tires have the potential to produce tremendous amounts of static charge on the road due to the friction they generate on the road.
If tires didn’t have carbon black mixed with the rubber, drivers would likely be subjected to significantly more static discharge.
One of the biggest benefits that come with using black tires is the fact that carbon black makes them significantly more durable. Not only do these tires last longer, but they are also more difficult to break.
A tire without carbon black can be driven for around 5,000 miles before needing to be replaced. On the other hand, industry-standard tires made with carbon black can be driven for roughly 50,000 miles — ten times as far.
Good at Absorbing Heat
The color black is naturally better at absorbing heat and sunlight than any other color. This is because black objects don’t reflect light, allowing them to absorb it to create heat.
The ability of black tires to draw and retain heat means they can also divert the heat generated by friction to the rubber material, increasing the overall durability and longevity of other automotive components.
Another benefit that comes with using black tires is the fact that they simply look good. Black is a color that’s easy on the eyes and works well with just about any color. You also won’t have to work as hard to clean your tires since dirt won’t be as visible.
Can You Get Tires in Other Colors?
Tires don’t just come in black. Though they might not be the industry standard, you might run into vehicles with tires of other colors now and then. For example, some vehicles have white tires, while others might have red tires. In fact, without the use of carbon black, tires would be white by default because that’s the natural color of rubber.
What Happens if You Get Tires in Other Colors?
Just because vehicles can have tires in colors that aren’t black doesn’t mean it’s practical. Tires are black for a reason.
Colorful tires don’t usually last as long as black tires because they take more damage from UV light and ozone. Carbon black also makes tires more durable. The absence of carbon black makes tires infinitely more susceptible to dry rot, which is a problem no driver wants to deal with.
Black tires also draw heat away from the parts of the vehicle that get hot when you’re out on the road. The sheer practicality of black tires is what makes it the industry standard.
Fun Facts About Tires
Tires owe their black hue to carbon black, but there’s a lot more that goes into tire-making that might strike your fancy. Did you know that tires can be made of dandelions and contain walnut shells? Have you ever stopped to wonder just how many materials go into making a single tire?
Here are other interesting and unexpected facts about tires:
Airplane and Spacecraft Wheels Are Filled With Nitrogen
The wheels of vehicles designed to lift off into the air like airplanes and spacecraft need to be capable of supporting tons of weight while simultaneously traveling at tremendous speeds.
These wheels are filled with nitrogen to help them maintain air pressure in conditions with fluctuating temperatures. At the same time, nitrogen doesn’t lead to moisture or combustion, making them safer and more reliable to use over a longer period.
LEGO is the Largest Tire Manufacturer in the World
Though the wheels might be a little too tiny for conventional everyday vehicles, the tires created by toy manufacturing company LEGO are made of rubber. LEGO makes hundreds of millions of little LEGO wheels every year (an estimated 308 million annually), easily making it the largest tire manufacturer in the world.
As for the company that makes the most usable tires, Michelin holds the record as the largest tire manufacturer in the world, creating roughly 200 million tires annually.
The World’s Biggest Tire is 80 Feet Tall
Found in Allen Park, Michigan, the world’s largest tire is an 80-foot-tall colossus of a wheel sturdy enough to withstand even hurricanes. The tire, which weighs a whopping 12 tons, was once used as a Ferris wheel at the New York World Fair from 1964 to 1965. Now, the tire is up on display at Allen Park to help advertise tire manufacturing company Uniroyal.
Tires Are Made of Over 200 Materials
Though tires are primarily made of rubber, the average tire is made up of many different chemical compounds and materials. Even metals like cobalt and titanium can be found in tires, binding the other materials such as rubber to the steel belts that hold the tire together.
Similarly, fabrics like rayon, nylon, and polyester reinforce the tire by providing dimensional stability to support its weight.
Tires Can Be Made of Dandelions and Walnuts
Last but not least, vehicle tire technology has progressed to the point that walnut shells and dandelion roots can be used in the manufacturing process.
Since walnut shells are among the toughest, hardest natural materials in the world, they’re used in winter tires to improve traction on snow or rime-covered roads. The sheer hardness and durability of walnut shells make them highly effective at gripping icy surfaces.
On the other hand, certain types of dandelion roots contain rubber latex, which is one of the most important materials in tire tread creation. Dandelion rubber works just as well as rubber from rubber trees and comes with the added benefit of being faster to grow, reaching maturity in one year in comparison to a rubber tree’s seven years.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.