Rubber and wheels
A brief excursion into the past: how the tire appeared
Tires began their triumphant march across the planet in 1846, when there were no “self-propelled carriages” at all, and the city streets were filled with the roar of metal carriage wheels.
Young Robert William Thomson, apparently tired of the constant noise of London after the quiet Scotland, where he was from, proposed to “wrap” the wheel rims in elastic material. And he did not hesitate with the application to the patent office.
Thomson did not only suggest using the tire, but also described its design. The proto-tire consisted of several layers of fabric and rubber, with which the fabric was impregnated, and the contact with the road was provided by leather, reinforced with metal rivets. The first tires, besides the obvious noise reduction, had another unexpected effect – the speed of the crews increased significantly.
Fifteen years later, veterinary surgeon John Dunlop, who had adapted a garden hose to his son’s iron bicycle wheels, unknowingly opened the camera. Today the Dunlop company, named after the inventor of the first pneumatic tire, is one of the most famous manufacturers.
A little later, engineer Childe Kingston Weltch, familiar with Thomson’s work and appreciating Dunlop’s original solution, separated the tube from the tire and reinforced the edges with wire. This innovation was appreciated by two Frenchmen André and Edouard Michelin, who founded the famous Michelin company for the production of pneumatic tires.
Basic elements of a modern tire
Basically, the design of the tire after more than 100 years has not changed much, undergoing only modifications and improvements.
A modern tire is a kind of “sandwich”, each layer of which carries its own functional load. This is the product of the work of hundreds of engineers from various companies, designed to create the most durable, comfortable and safe tire.