Monday, January 13th, Mickey Hoffpauir, Kiwanian and owner of Delta Tire gave a very interesting talk about tires to the Kiwanis club. He gave a handout listing all the tire manufacturers, their country and the date they were founded. Most tire manufacturers are from other countries although some have plants in the United States. There are only six companies based in the USA. There are 300,000 million tires sold per year.
Tires are made from real rubber or synthetic rubber. Real rubber comes from Malaysia and South America. They tap latex from trees just like sap from trees where they make syrup. Synthetic rubber tires are oil-based products. There is a filler which is carbon black, polymers which are synthetic pellets, light fillers which are clay, softeners, wax and paraffin. There is an inner liner which holds the air in, casing, bead wires around the edge, a bead line, rim, steel belts, sidewall, and treads. All these are put on in layers. The tires are made by machine, a vulcanizing machine which is to melt the tire together. It takes seven gallons of oil to make a regular tire.
The first air type tire was the bicycle tire. Then there was a tube type tire and you were given a patch kit with it. The radial tire was invented in 1948. There was also a nylon tire which was used as a spare. In 1969 they began making a radial tire with steel belts.
Tire manufacturers are now working on an airless tire, however there is a problem keeping it balanced and with speed.
Hoffpauir answered lots of questions from the group.