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Author Topic: Tires again  (Read 1000 times)

Boonieman

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Tires again
« on: January 22, 2018, 07:57:06 PM »
  OK, as some of those on the forum know, I retired from Michelin last year. The plant I was employed made the various rubber grades that went into tires in the US, and some overseas. That rubber went to the tire manufacturing plants. I hear a lot on this forum about tires cracking, etc. In the ďold daysĒ, there was a termite prevention chemical I think was chloradane, and itís effective life was about 30 years or more. The new termite stuff is effective for maybe 5 years, if that. The changes were for environmental reasons.
   Tire companies trying to comply with environmental regulations in the US are constantly trying to find different recipes that are as effective, but still environmentally friendly. Foreign countries may or may not have the same regulations, and domestic tire manufacturers may or may not be as aggressive at implementing environmental standards.
   Not trying to defend Michelin or any other brand, but I personally think sometimes when they make a recipe change itís hard to predict the long term impact on the product, even though they do extensive pre-market testing.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 08:34:49 PM »
I love Michelins,.... maybe you could answer this question.

 What is the difference between an Michelin RV tire,  and a Michelin Truck tire ?  (besides the cost  :) )  One thing I heard is it's a UV protectorate. 
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 08:43:23 PM by TonyDtorch »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2018, 11:54:00 AM »
Michelin gets a bad rep for "sidewall cracking", so one wonders why they haven't altered their rubber compounds to alleviate that. Others tire makers seem to know how to make rubber skins that stay unblemished for 7-10 years.  However, despite the loud wailing on various RVing websites, the Michelin cracking seems largely a cosmetic issue. Michelin addresses it in their RV tire guide and gives clear criteria for determining cosmetic vs functional defect.
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Rene T

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 12:51:14 PM »
Michelin gets a bad rep for "sidewall cracking", so one wonders why they haven't altered their rubber compounds to alleviate that. Others tire makers seem to know how to make rubber skins that stay unblemished for 7-10 years.  However, despite the loud wailing on various RVing websites, the Michelin cracking seems largely a cosmetic issue. Michelin addresses it in their RV tire guide and gives clear criteria for determining cosmetic vs functional defect.

I thought I read on this forum back a while ago that Michelin fixed that issue. Maybe not.
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allenb12

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 05:16:03 PM »
When the Government banned chloradane termite problems doubled.  Nothing yet has been as effective.
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Boonieman

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 08:39:03 PM »
Tony,
       To answer your question keep in mind I was involved in the chemical process of making the rubber, not the actual tire assembly. The rubber processing plants and the tire plants are separate. I do know that some of the rubber grades are easy to make, and some very difficult in the process of making rubber. The quality controls are very tight and result in more ďwasteĒ , or off-spec, on the high grade types, leading to higher prices in the end. As far as building the tires themselves, some types take a lot more manual intervention, again leading to higher prices.

Gary,
       As far as sidewall cracking, the anti-oxidants used are the same for each rubber type. When I worked there one of the things they were attempting to do was to reduce solvent emissions, such as toluene, which contribute to greenhouse gas effects for our planet, as well as employee exposure.
       Iím pretty sure all the tire makers are trying to strike a balance between customer satisfaction and environmental and employee effects. Depending on where you are making the tires, in the U.S. or otherwise, dictates what you can or canít do in the manufacturing process.
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Originally from South Dakota, currently reside in Kentucky

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 01:55:48 PM »
Quote
I thought I read on this forum back a while ago that Michelin fixed that issue.

I've seen that mentioned in a couple places, but not from any authoritative source, e.g.Michelin itself.  In any case, tires being replaced now were designed and built several years ago.


Quote
As far as sidewall cracking, the anti-oxidants used are the same for each rubber type.
I get that, but I don't think the rubber compounds are identical in, say, a Toyo and a Michelin.  Or even in two different models from the same manufacturer.   Each rubber manufacturer has their own blend of ingredients to achieve their desired tire design parameters. Besides environmental issues, they make trade-offs for wear (mileage), scuffing, traction, steering, etc. Sidewall appearance may take a back seat to some other desirable attribute. Or not.
Gary
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 01:59:14 PM »
So what is the actual difference in an RV and a Truck tire  ?

Boonieman

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2018, 03:45:09 PM »
  As Gary stated, most tire companies have their own proprietary ingredients and compounds on their tires. Some of the rubber that is used in tire building can be purchased on the open market. Other rubber is made by the manufacturers themselves. At the plant I worked, the tire plants would order x pounds of different types of rubber. Our final product was similar in size to a small hay bale. Basically a block of rubber. At the tire plants they would blend and combine the different rubber types together to achieve a particular goal, ie; good traction, rolling resistance, high mileage, good ride, etc. There is a bunch of different types of rubber in each tire. Sidewall rubber is not the same as the tread rubber. Several layers of different types of rubber are in each tire.
   As far as the sidewall cracking, antioxidants to resist sunlight and ozone are a part of the rubber making process too. I donít think I was clear, each rubber type has a particular AO that goes into it. The plant I was in was located in the Ohio Valley which is very susceptible to ozone and smog in the summertime. Local air pollution authorities were very sensitive to hydrocarbon emissions, which can contribute to air quality problems.
   One of the things Michelin was doing when I worked there was to switch to a different solvent that the AO was made up in. This was to address local concerns about air pollution. I personally didnít think the AO disolved quite as well in the new solvent, but I am not a scientist and donít know if that had anything to do with anything. I know at a production plant level we complained loudly about the new solvent, but finally figured out how to make it work. I suppose Michelin could have just got tired of dealing with the hassle and shut the plant down and moved to a community or country where their good paying jobs were welcome.
   Because their products go into tires, which are transporting humans, they are super reluctant to make any changes without a ridiculous amount of extensive testing. Probably most tire manufacturers are the same. To make a simple ingredient change would probably take 3-5 years of testing before it ever got released to the public in the form of a tire, depending on the nature of the change.  I totally understand, but it is an agonizingly slow and cautious process.
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2016 Harley Trike
3 cherished dogs, Moo, Molly, Mia the one eyed pup 😊
Originally from South Dakota, currently reside in Kentucky

Tom

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2018, 06:42:38 PM »
Quote
At the plant I worked, the tire plants would order x pounds of different types of rubber...

I'm reminded of attending a conference in Helsinki, Finland (1,100 folks in attendance). At lunch, I saw this elderly Japanese guy wandering around looking for somewhere to sit. I invited him to sit at our table, and we struck up an interesting conversation. He was the retired Chief Engineer for Bridgestone Tires. Smartass here couldn't resist asking "how many times can you invent rubber?" He explained that his job was to design/implement more efficient ways of manufacturing the tires.

I'm also reminded of visiting a family home/ranch in Malaysia in the 70's. They grew 'rubber trees', and harvested the latex by driving a spike into each of the trees and hanging a small pot. I must have a (print) photo here somewhere.
Edit: It appears that the correct way to harvest latex is to cut a slit in the tree after removing some bark. The 'spikes' we saw must have been to hang the collection pot.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 03:15:28 AM by Tom »
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DanKearney

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2018, 03:59:25 PM »
I'm a newby Class C owner, so I've been soaking up posts about maintenance and tires, etc., which brought me to this post.

Can someone explain to me what termites have to do with RV tires?

Cheers,

Dan K.
Black Hawk, Colorado

Tom

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 05:40:00 PM »
Termites like rubber so, as Boonieman explained, they put an anti-termite chemical in rubber used for tires.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 09:31:31 PM »
Termites like rubber so, as Boonieman explained, they put an anti-termite chemical in rubber used for tires.

If I'd know that....I could have piled a bunch of used tires all around my house,   maybe they wouldn't have eaten it up so bad.

Dreamsend

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 01:57:36 AM »
Termites like rubber so, as Boonieman explained, they put an anti-termite chemical in rubber used for tires.

This is an issue of credibility.  All termites use cellulose AND ONLY CELLULOSE as a food source.  Without cellulose they die.  Fact--only the foreign Formosan termite, which is a voracious, very aggressive species is known to attack things like rubber, plastic, etc to get at a source of cellulose which it simply finds blindly.  Fact, the Formosan termite is an invasive species native to China, Formosa and Japan.  It has spread through some areas in the US southern states (Texas and east to coast) because it needs warm, wet climates to survive.  Fact, termites don't eat, as in ingest, rubber, and the native American  eastern subterrean termites don't attack rubber either.  ALL termites are subterrean and CANNOT survive in dry conditions or in light.  That's why they must build mud tunnels for protection to move from one food source to another if they leave moist ground or wet wood. 

Fact, to make tires cheaper, manufacturers are using CELLULOSE, in dif formulations, which if left in semi dark, in wet conditions in contact with the ground or wood already infested with FORMOSAN termites in the southern US, then the tire might get attacked by them to get at the cellulose food.  Admittedly, tires made here for markets in China etc may need protection WHEN they contain cellulose. 

The idea that "termites like rubber" and are therefore eating rubber tires installed on vehicles driving down the road, or stored in warehouses, retail stores, or in good conditions in a garage is just ludicrous. Solutions -- don't use cellulose as substitutes in tires.  Don't allow those dump piles of tires on the "back 40" and in the shanty repair shops and barns to sit in contact with the ground for years where they may become susceptible to attack in southern areas where Formosan termites have infested.  Dispose of waste tires properly because that's a cost of life nowadays.

It would be GREAT if termites did like rubber, because it would easily and cheaply be a way to recycle the millions and millions of junk tires and truck re-tread scraps polluting the planet.  New profession -- termite wrangler.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 08:58:25 AM »
Thanks for that post, Dreamsend!
Tires designed for different applications may use more cellulose or other ingredients than is common for highway tires. Farm & construction equipment tires, for example, have substantially different needs than highway use.  Heck, a lot equipment tires are still bias ply construction, cause it works well for that environment.  Tires that work only at low speeds, and often low pressure as well, can make tradeoffs in their construction to gain traction, flexibility and better resistance to punctures, bruises & scrapes.

The only reported instances of termite damage to tires that I can find was on farm equipment tires.
Gary
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Tom

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 11:25:57 AM »
Bottom line, don't believe everything you read on the internet  ???
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 04:18:14 PM »
Quote
don't believe everything you read on the internet

Unless you read it on RVForum.net!  ;)
Gary
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Tom

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Re: Tires again
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2018, 04:46:34 PM »
My comment related to my inept attempt to search for "termites like rubber", and an attempt at self-deprecating humor.
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