Friday, January 12, 2007
Radial Tires, what does it mean ?
RADIAL The simple definition of a Radial type tire: The radial is a type of tire that is constructed with rubber coated, reinforcing steel cable belts that are assembled parallel and run from side to side, bead to bead at an angle of 90 degrees to the circumferential centerline of the tire. (As opposed to the 30 degree alternating application lengthwise as in bias ply tires). This makes the tire more flexible which reduces rolling resistance to improve fuel economy. Then numerous rubber coated steel belts are then constructed into the "crown" of the tire under the tread to form a strong stable two-stage unit. Performance and purpose of Radial tires Radial tires are the preferred tire of choice in most applications for several key reasons. The combination of steel stabilizing belts in the single-layer radial casing allows the tread and sidewall to act independently. The sidewall flexes more easily under the weight of the vehicle and its cargo, while the tank-track type tread provides even contact with the ground. Greater vertical deflection is achieved with radial tires. This is desirable because extreme flexing greatly increases resistance to punctures. To increase a radial tire's strength, larger diameter steel cables are used. Larger steel cables can help reduce punctures, tears and flats. Larger steel cables also help distribute heat, resulting in a cooler running tire and improving fuel economy. Unlike bias ply tires larger steel cables have little negative affect on performance. The parallel stabilizing steel belts of the radial minimize tread distortion. As the sidewalls flexes under load, the belts hold the tread firmly and evenly on the ground or object and thus minimizing tread scrub and greatly increasing tread life. When cornering the independent action of the tread and sidewalls keeps the tread flat on the road. This allows the tire to hold to its path. When offroad, the radial tire's stabilizing steel belt design aids in greater traction by holding the tread evenly over obstacles allowing the tread of the tire to have a better chance of finding traction.