What Happens When Old Tires Retire?
Have you ever wondered what happens to old tires once they’ve retired from their vehicles? Often times, once they’ve reached the end of their useful life, used tires end up in landfills. But in some cases a more sustainable alternative is feasible. Retreading tires is becoming increasingly popular as is’s cost effective, environmentally friendly, and also produces quality performing tires.
Also known as remolding or recapping, retreading used tires calls for a number of steps in order to produce a perfect end product.
The first step in retreading is inspecting the casing to locate damages that may not be seen at first. Embedded debris and nails are some of the most common damages that a tire retreading company will see. Depending on their degree of damage, some of these tires will be discarded, but some will be repaired as well. Each casing will be inspected once again in order to meet the necessary standard of quality.
Next, the tire needs to be buffed. This means that the old tread needs to be eliminated and worn down even further than it is already. After it’s buffed down and the “undertread” is revealed, The tire is able to be recapped with new material to look good as new.
The recapping process is done by either applying new rubber and placing the tire into a mold to harden, or by applying a new tread casing with cement. The latter is the more common practice, and is more flexible when it comes to tire sizing, but the end product will have a visible seam where the undertread and new casing meet.
Before the new tread is applied, each tire is tested to ensure that it can withstand high-pressure conditions. Then the tire is “cured” — this is when a new tread is etched into the tire.
At the end, the tire is inspected once again. The grip of the tire is evaluated to ensure reliability, and then the tires go out for sale or to be applied onto the vehicle from which they came.
While tis process isn’t usually done for passenger vehicles, most airplanes, racing cars, buses and delivery trucks are retreaded to save money, as these vehicles travel much further than the average car.