by Malini

Tyre and Tyre Tube

January 20, 2023 | Packaging

Wheel and Tyre History 

The wheel was invented in the 4th millennium BC in Lower Mesopotamia(modern-day Iraq), where the Sumerian people inserted rotating axles into solid discs of wood. It was only in 2000 BC that the discs began to be hollowed out to make a lighter wheel.

In the 1800's, Charles Macintosh experimented with sap from trees in Amazon area to create rubber. But, it could not withstand the weather extremities. 

Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanised rubber in 1839, by adding sulphur, making it elastic and strong enough to be used as cushion tyres for cycles.

It was in 1845 that pneumatic or air filled tyres were invented and patented by Robert William Thomson, a Scottish inventor. His design had multiple thin tubes inside a leather cover, so that the tyre could absorb shocks. But, it never really went into production due to its severe limitations.

In 1888, John Boyd Dunlop from Ireland, came up with the first practical pneumatic tyre which later became Dunlop tyres. He also tested the first pneumatic or air-filled tyres on a tricycle and took it for a spin. Pneumatic tyres gained their popularity due to the growing use of bicycles in the late 18th century.

The Michelin brothers, Édouard and André invented the detachable pneumatic tyre in 1891, which could be used on automobiles. The tyre consisted of a tube bolted on to the rim.

The process of making pneumatic rubber tyre underwent tremendous engineering advances for the next fifty years after its invention. During this period, automobiles were using different forms of bias-ply tyres. The bais-ply tyre had an inner tube containing compressed pressure and an outer casing to protect the inner tube and offer traction. The outer casing was reinforced with plys of rubberized fabric cords.

The radial tyres were developed by Michelin in 1946 and became more popular than bias-ply tyre across Europe and Asia because of its ability to offer better handling and fuel efficiency. 

In 1926, Dunlop Rubber Limited became the first company in India to set up a tyre company in West Bengal. The MRF (Madras Rubber Factory Limited) followed its footsteps and entered the tyre manufacturing market in 1946 although it ventured into manufacturing tread rubber in 1952.

Today, the India tyre industry employs as many as one million people including dealers, retraders, and growers of natural rubber.

Transportation including air flights accounts for 95% of tires, while agriculture uses 5%.

The Problem

Tyres make up nearly 2% of total global waste, and the waste leads to environmental and health hazards due to the improper waste management. These tires have become a major source of pollution.

We lose Tyre recycled resource opportunities when they are incarcerated, landfilled illegally, or stockpiled illegally. 

The EU only discards over 300 million car and truck tires each year.

  • 1040 tonnes or 12% end as air pollutants
  • 5871 tonnes or 67% enter the soil
  • 1043 tonnes or 12% enter waterways
  • 1337 tonnes or 15% end up in the sewers

The Solution

Technology that can recycle and recover nearly all constituents of tires does exist – natural rubber, synthetic rubber made fromplastics, steel, carbon black, zinc, sulfur, etc.

The European landfill directive 1999/31/EC has spurred efficient treatments to turn ELTs into valuable sources of materials for various tire and engineering and non-engineering applications. As a result, Europe is the world leader in waste tire recycling.

Tyre recycling is the process of downsizing whole tyres of any type for the purpose of reusing the material for other purposes. The materials most sought after in tyre recycling are clean rubber and steel wire.

Tires can be reused in many ways:

  • Entire homes can be built with whole tires by filling them with earth and covering them with concrete, a common material in earthships.
  • Artificial reefs are built using tires that are bonded together in groups.
  • The process of stamping and cutting tires is used in some apparel products, such as sandals and as a road sub-base.
  • Back-fill for roadway landslide repair projects as well as a vibration damping material for railway lines.
  • Rubber-molded products are carpet padding or underlay, flooring materials, dock bumpers, patio decks, railroad crossing blocks, livestock mats, sidewalks, rubber tiles and bricks, movable speed bumps, and curbing/edging.
  • Steel mills can use tires as a carbon source, replacing coal or coke in steel manufacturing.[21]
  • Tires are also often recycled for use on basketball courts and new shoe products.
  • Furniture and Garden Furniture can be done, as its waterproof. 

  • I (ReBlack project) do beautiful Jewellery and accessories with the Tyres.

The company in Germany that recycles tyre tubes is Schwalbe. They collect tyres from all stores and make new tyres of them.

ReBlack Design

Sustainable Fashion for tomorrow

How i started 

With a flat Tyre one my Motorbike 

One day I was driving home from a friends house and my front tyre was wobbling. I got the Motorbike fixed and decided to do something with the tyre. I live an eco friendly life, and throwing away the tyre was not in my ethics. A few days went by, and then I started creating earrings. I saw how much fun it is, started collecting more tyres and making more Jewellery. 

Im very happy with the responses to my art creation. 

Sustainable Fashion

Ethical fashion in the new age

Unfortunately, the fashion industry is riddled with problems, harmful practices, and ethical abuses. The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluter of our Planet. 

If we think sustainably, buy second hand and recycle, we already make up a lot for the future.

Sources :

About the author, Malini


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