Tires of the future: Engineered for safety and durability

Published: Thursday, June 14, 2018

Tires are an essential part of our mobility on land and on air. By 2019, an estimated 3 billion tires will be sold worldwide valued at over $258 billion. New technology is discovered and introduced every year to make tires safer and last longer.

Tires are continuously evolving for the better in an era where innovations are highlighted and punctuated by customer demand for products that give more value for their money.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, said Dubai is delighted to connect the global market of spare parts and accessories, particularly the GCC, Arab Countries, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

While cars, trucks and other Wtypes of automobiles outshine tires i n popularity, there’s no doubt it’s an important part of the industry that keep growing and reinventing itself to keep up with the changing times.

Tires are the only thing between the road and your vehicle—be it a car, a truck, a motorcycle, a bike or a plane—thus, performance, durability and safety, matter a lot.

Industry experts estimate around 3 billion tires will be sold in 2019 generating over $258 billion for the industry. Each year, new tire technology is discovered and applied to make tires safer and last longer.

At Automechanika Dubai 2018 held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Middle East and Africa’s largest trade exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and services industry, tires of different sizes and shapes were showcased along with other auto parts and components.

Upward track market

Dubai Customs said the Dubai auto parts and accessories trade is valued at AED39.9 billion in 2017 as more vehicles enter the market, particularly in the industrial sector as various construction projects are undertaken.

Imports of tires, batteries, engine components and systems into Dubai were valued at AED22.35 billion last year, while the value of exports and re-exports coming out of the Emirate was AED17.54 billion, Dubai Customs noted.

The volume of trade in Dubai’s thriving automotive aftermarket has also increased year-on-year, with 2.25 million tons of tyres, batteries, engine components and systems shipped through the Emirate in 2017, 8.4 percent up on 2016.

Japan (AED5.63 billion), South Korea (AED3 billion), USA (AED2.94 billion), Germany (AED2.69 billion), and China (AED2.39 billion) were Dubai’s top country partners last year in terms of total auto parts trade, Dubai Customs noted.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia (AED2 billion), Afghanistan (1.34 billion), Iraq (AED1.1 billion) Oman (AED730 million), and Kuwait (AED580 million) were the Emirate’s biggest export and re- export markets in 2017, accounting for a combined 33 percent of Dubai’s exports and re-exports of auto parts, accessories, tires, and engine components for the year.

The five major trading partners comprised 69 percent of Dubai’s total automotive parts imports in 2017.

Japan was the top destination from which Dubai’s car parts originated, claiming AED5.61 billion of the market and a 25 percent share of total imports.

South Korea followed with AED2.94 billion worth of exports to Dubai (13 percent share. USA (AED2.37 billion), Germany (AED2.29 billion), and China (AED2.17 billion) comprise the other three top exporters to Dubai.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, the Director of Dubai Customs, said Dubai is delighted to connect the global market of spare parts and accessories, particularly the GCC, Arab Countries, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Automechanika Dubai, added: “Dubai is the epicentre of Middle East and African automotive aftermarket, and it’s pleasing to see the Emirate’s spare parts and accessories trade value and volume is back on an upward track.”

New innovations

Tires are continuously evolving for the better in an era where innovations are highlighted and punctuated by customer demand for products that give more value for their money.

Manufacturers are ultimately aiming to develop tires that can withstand different road conditions under extreme heat or cold weather without compromising safety and durability.

For instance, Bridgestone Corp., one of the world’s top tire makers, had introduced and patented the so-called Contact Area Information Sensing (CAIS) tires. These tires are equipped with sensors that can identify in real time seven types of road conditions—dry, semi-dry, wet, slush, fresh snow, compacted snow, and ice—empowering the driver to maneuver accordingly.

CAIS is being developed to provide as well information on tread wear and work with air pressure sensors to communicate air pressure data.

A Dutch biotech firm, KeyGene, is experimenting on turning the roots of the Russian Dandelion and the common Dandelion as rubber substitute with tires in mind as primary product.

The phenotype of these crossbreed dandelions are expected to make up for more demand for rubber or latex, the main component of tires.

BFGoodrich Tires, another global major tire manufacturer, says it uses synthetic rubber, specifically butyl rubber, as it is virtually impenetrable to water and air. Its tires are also equipped with technologically advanced tread that can withstand abrasion and heat and is designed to resist wear.

Considered the lowest tech development in tires, discoloration is also used among some tire manufacturers to warn drivers when to change tires. This technique turns the tire from black to bright orange which indicates that it’s time to change the tire.

Other more technologically advanced techniques in tire manufacturing are being designed and tested and are expected to be introduced in the market in less than a decade.

How to Check Tire Pressure

Believe it or not, tires can actually lose up to 1psi (pounds per square inch) every month. So be on the safe side and check all tires, including your spare, once a month (or before a long trip). It’s no biggie. Here’s how you do it:

1. Purchase a trusted pressure gauge.

2. Check your tires “cold” – before you’ve driven or at least three hours after you’ve driven.

3. Insert pressure gauge into the valve stem on your tire. (The gauge will “pop” out and show a measured number. When you hear a “pssst” sound, that’s air escaping the tire. The escaping air shouldn’t affect pressure substantially, unless you hold down the air pressure gauge too long.)

4. Compare the measured psi to the psi found on the sticker inside the driver’s door of your vehicle or in owner’s manual. DO NOT compare to the psi on your tire’s sidewall.

5. If your psi is above the number, let air out until it matches. If below, add air (or have a BFGoodrich Tires dealer help you) until it reaches the proper number.

Nitrogen Versus Compressed Air

It’s pretty common knowledge that most tires are filled with compressed air. But some tire dealers have started putting nitrogen in their customers’ tires. (Nitrogen is simply dry air with the oxygen removed.

Air contains nearly 79% nitrogen already. Note: Welcome to science class.) Because nitrogen replaces oxygen, less air can escape your tires, and your air pressure stays higher for longer. Also, know that nitrogen and compressed air CAN be mixed, if needed.

Unfortunately, there are other possible sources of leaks (tire/rim interface, valve, valve/rim interface and the wheel), which prevent the guarantee of pressure maintenance for individuals using air or nitrogen inflation. Tires manufactured by BFGoodrich Tires are designed to deliver their expected performance when inflated with air or nitrogen, as long as, the user respects the pressures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer on the vehicle’s placard or by the tire manufacturer. Source: BFGoodrich Tires