ICEs, EVs, Autonomous Vehicles: They All Need Tires! (Part 2)
One might be surprised to find how many reinforcements compose a tire when cut in half. Tires need various reinforcements other than rubber to withstand the weight of an automobile so that they can have better safety, durability and drivability.
Tire reinforcements can come in a few different forms including steel. However, fiber-based materials such as polyester or nylon are the most common form. It may seem strange to have tires made of fibers when their purpose of existence is to enhance strength and durability. However, the more you find out about tirecord, the better you would understand the fact that high-quality fibers are the optimal material as of today for tire reinforcements.
Tirecord is a reinforcing material that constitutes the inside of a tire and is a vital material that helps tires maintain their shape and makes the driving more comfortable.
It is also critical in the shape of a tire as it helps maintain the tire pressure and withstand the vehicle weight. When driving, it also helps tires absorb shock and maintain stability while accelerating.
Tirecord has evolved together with the development of the automobile industry.
In the late 1980s when tires came out in pneumatic forms, plain weave fabrics were used as reinforcement materials, but lacked durability. In turn, tirecord fabrics which we see today were first developed in 1892. Initially, cotton fabrics were used for tirecords but coming into the 1940s tirecords adopted rayon fabrics for better heat-resistance.
As commercial vehicles opted for bigger sizes and high-performing features into the late 1940s and 1950s, tires increasingly required better durability, weight-resistance, and heat-resistance. This was when researchers turned to nylon fabrics as an option. As a result, the transition was made in the late 1960s from rayon-based fabrics to nylon-based tirecords.
Coming into the 1960s, radial tires with cord plies arranged at 90 degrees to the direction of the vehicle were introduced to a market where bias tires with crisscrossed plies were dominant.
This was a game changer in the tire industry and in turn PET tirecords with better strength and rigidity emerged as the most favored material for radial tires. This has made polyester and nylon as the two key ingredients for tirecords.
No.1 polyester tirecord maker, Hyosung Advanced Materials
Hyosung Advanced Materials’ polyester tirecord is the world’s bestselling name with half of vehicles on the road in the world using it.
Hyosung Advanced Materials entered the tire reinforcement market and in 1968 it introduced nylon tirecord for the first time in Korea, followed by polyester tirecord and bead wire in 1979. Entering 1987, the company started to produce steel cord with which it has grown into a world-class tire reinforcement brand with its all-round manufacturing and supply portfolio.
Hyosung operates sophisticated production sites not only in Korea but also in countries such as Vietnam, China, US, and Europe to meet the demand of its global clients. It has also joined hands with other global leading tire names to work on developing safer and more convenient tires, tapping into its existing world-class technology.
A variety of fiber-based tirecords by Hyosung Advanced Materials
Hyosung Advanced Materials has been satisfying various needs of customers including ones related to sustainability. At the same time, it has been considering market situations requiring different functionality in line with different types of vehicles as well as the intrinsic nature of tires that prioritizes a high level of technology and quality. As such, it has been leading the global tire market by introducing various tirecords based on synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester and lyocell.
The reason Hyosung Advanced Materials has been able to meet such various needs of customers has to do with the company’s technology competitiveness and production capacity.
Its top three tirecords are nylon tirecord, polyester tirecord and lyocell tirecord.
Nylon tirecord is known for heat-resistance and adhesive property. It is used for cap plies for radial tires. Not only that, but it is also used for the carcass for special tires used in trucks, buses, airplanes, and motorcycles.
Polyester tirecord is known for tensile strength, supreme shape stability and adhesive property. It is used for carcass for radial tires for passenger vehicles.
Hyosung Advanced Materials has introduced lyocell tirecord for the first time in the world. It was produced in an environmentally friendly manner to replace rayon tirecord. Lyocell tirecord emits 30% less greenhouse gas than rayon or nylon tirecord.
Enhanced tire reinforcements boost performance and contribute to sustainability!
E-vehicles and hydrogen vehicles are on the rise as concerns over sustainability grow. They run on electric motors unlike their conventional counterparts.
Using electric motors, an EV can make maximum torque at zero RPM which means an EV does not need time to accelerate unlike traditional engines. More torque means faster reach to maximum horsepower compared to gas-powered cars. But it means quicker wear and tear of tires.
These vehicles also have narrower tires for better energy efficiency and lower rolling resistance. Because of the weight of the batteries, tires for EV should have much better durability than that of conventional vehicles.
Therefore, sophisticated reinforcements are critical in tires for next-generation vehicles.
The average drive distance per charge is an important measurement of EVs’ performance, and running on lightweight high-performance tires means better energy efficiency. Such tires will cut down on the overall weight of the automobile structure to enhance fuel efficiency. And thanks to their strength and durability they last longer to ensure safety.
Hyosung Advanced Materials to pursue evolution of tires with its high-strength tirecord
Hyosung Advanced Materials has introduced advanced high-strength tirecords on the combination of cap plies and aramid fiber it has developed with its proprietary technology.
With the rolling process, the use of rubber in the manufacturing of the tirecords has dramatically reduced and thus they become much thinner. These high-strength tirecords render lower rolling resistance, better fuel efficiency and less greenhouse gas emission.
They should bring in a breakthrough in traversability and stability of EVs and hydrogen vehicles. Hyosung Advanced Materials is not to stop here but to continue to move ahead with its commitment to technological innovation in research and development for better tirecords for safe driving.
As the leading developer of sophisticated materials for tirecords, Hyosung Advanced Materials’ future endeavors are in turn to draw much traction.
In the next part of this series, we will look into green trends in the tirecord industry.