Did you know that the manufacturing of brand new tyres involves greater carbon emission than tyres which are retreaded?
According to the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse, UK, retreading an old or damaged tyre is far more beneficial to the environment than buying new ones.
So what is retreading actually and why is it practiced by tyre manufactures across the globe today? Let’s find out!
To put it across in layman’s terms, retreading simply means recycling an old tyre. But it’s not ‘recycle’ as you and I normally understand. Retreading involves several critical processes- after all it is dealing with that aspect of your vehicle which is its only contact with the roads.
Old and worn out tyres are inspected thoroughly before they can be marked for retreading. In fact what makes a tyre ‘unfit; for retreading is if the tread has been over exposed or if the tyre’s internal structure is damaged. This is because the process involves only a surface reconstruction and not a remodelling of the entire product.
The retreading process is all about giving a fresh lease of life to old tyre casings with a new tread. This method is in fact very similar to the process of manufacturing for new tyres where their old tread is scraped off and a new one is bonded to the surface.
There are in fact two distinct procedures involved while retreading.
Also called the hot cure or mould cure technique, it involves bonding an un-vulcanised rubber sheet to the buffed casing of the tyre. The rubber sheet then adopts the pattern of the mould during vulcanisation.
Also called as Cold Cure, this is a more popular method and involves preparing a tread strip similar to the existing pattern and bonding it to the casing of the old tyre by means of a thin sheet. This thin layer, also known as cushion or bonding gum, is compounded with uncured rubber which is vulcanised by the application of heat and pressure.
Why Use Retread Tyres – the Benefits
Using retreaded tyres offers several benefits
1. Helping the Environment
The number one factor that’s compelling tyre manufacturers to adopt this method for large scale productions is because retreading is decreasing carbon footprints. Compared to the energy consumed while developing new tyres, retreading takes up only half that amount.
Here are the crucial pointers from the study conducted by the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse, UK which reveals the emission statistics of new tyres vs. retreaded ones.
· The manufacturing of a new tyre produced 86.9 kg CO2 as compared to a retreaded one which emitted only 60.5 kg of carbon.
· In fact the entire retreading process when compared to producing a brand new tyre cuts emissions by 70%. This is because the total consumption of energy, materials and transport costs is far less while retreading.
At present approximately 130,000 light commercial vehicle tyres are retreaded in the UK annually. This translates to saving of 3400 tonnes of carbon emissions and 2300 tonnes of material.
Those are some impressive numbers! Also take into account how landfills across the globe are being saved from millions of tyres crowding onto the existing piles. In keeping with the government’s sustainable development policies, retreads result in far lesser disposals than would have happened otherwise.
2. It Saves Cost of Production
Remember retreading is a surface overhaul for tyre manufacture, as against a brand new production which means building a tyre from scratch. In fact for new tyre production, 70-80% of the manufacturing cost is spent on the tyre body or its casing, and 20-25% on the tread. Hence, when retreading is done by refurbishing the tyre surface and applying a new tread, it costs between 30%- 50% of the total price of production for a new tyre.
Thus tyre costs reduce significantly.
3. It Conserves Materials
What’s more, the colossal quantity of oil required to develop the synthetic rubber component in a new tyre – which is approximately 22 gallons per new truck tyre – comes down to only 7 gallons during its retreading process.
Besides conserving materials and bringing down costs, this is also a big thumbs up for the green brigade of tyre manufacturing!
4. It Enhances Tyre Life
Retreading is also a more viable economic alternative to purchasing new tyres because it allows an old tyre to go through a maximum of 2 such retread cycles in its life span, thereby extending the tyre life.
Thus retreading brings down total cost of manufacturing exponentially, while increasing a tyre’s shelf life too. This means greater savings and maximum value for your tyre purchase.
5. It Increases Tyre Safety
A retreaded tyre is considered a very safe option on the roads. This is because new legal norms have put into place a stringent inspection mechanism and high standards of manufacturing for the retreading process to work. Besides, the use of highly sophisticated machinery and regulations ensure that retreaded tyres are put through the same quality and test parameters as new tyres. Thus speed, safety, traction and rolling resistance of retreaded tyres are actually at par with their brand new counterparts.
ü Nearly half the truck and bus tyre segment plying on roads in the UK have been retreaded.
ü Retreads are used in passenger cars, high performance and motorsport vehicles as well.
ü Over 90% of all aviation tyres are retreaded.
If you have further queries on retreaded tyre safety, go through this link on frequently asked questions .
Today major tyre manufacturers across the globe, who are voicing their concerns on carbon emissions, have joined the environmentally friendly retreading bandwagon. Thus more and more tyres are being produced keeping in mind that they will undergo a retread in future, thereby giving the tyre a fresh lease of life in every retreaded cycle.
Tyres are the most crucial component in a vehicle. The tyres consume majority of the vehicle maintenance costs. Tyres also contribute much to polluting the environment. Retreading offers a solution to tackle both issues.
A retread not only gives a tyre multiple lives, but keeps it going for many more miles than would have happened otherwise, while ensuring reduction in emissions and energy consumption during manufacture.