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Tyre Degradation Causes & Preventive Measures

We all know that the rubber degrades. And we have witnessed it become unusable in the form of rubber bands when they are kept for years in drawers at home or fastened to a bunch of papers for a long time in our office. Somewhat similar is the case with tyres. So let’s learn more about the tyre degradation causes and how can you evade them.

Tyre Degradation


To understand tyre degradation better, firstly, we will have a look at the tyre formation. Here, besides major chunk being rubber, a tyre contains layers of metallic beading, which is responsible for reinforcing the sidewalls of a tyre alongside allowing the reasonable sum of required flex in the rubber-beading mixture. In the tyre manufacturing process, rubber mixture is hardened by adding sulphur or other ‘accelerators’ as it helps to create better bonding within the rubber mixture molecules, which adds strength and elasticity to carry necessary loads. However, the moment tyre bids adieu to the manufacturing unit it immediately comes across a surrounding that consists of ozone, Ultra Violet (UV) rays and oxygen. Over the years, while in use, the tyre soaks up energy via heat, light and irritation, while the rubber mixture/molecules keep on breaking down over time and lets it become so firm that at some points tyre cracks emerge.



1. Rubber oxidization

The coming together of oxygen and ozone brings flexibility and strength to the rubber alongside intensifying the bond between rubber mixture and beading. The heat and oxygen combination results in cross-linking among the rubber polymers that helps the mixture to get stiffer to an extent where external edges turn brittle and develop cracks.

2. Water

Rubber is believed to be waterproof, however, after years of usage water can seep into the tyre and bond with the metallic section inside the tyre, which in turn causes the surrounding rubber bond to weaken. And due to strength and heat resistance deficiency in the mixture, the tyre finally gets damaged.

3. Pressure

Air pressure in the tyres, under or over, can lead to tyre injury too. If tyres lack required amount of pressure they will produce excessive heat due to increased friction from the road surface causing early tyre wear. Moreover, the overdone pressure in tyres also leads to greater stress on the side walls and metallic beading, which could qualify as the potential ground for a tyre blow-out situation, after side walls develop unsafe swellings.

4. Aging

Though you take several steps to diminish the impact of UV light, oxygen and ozone on the tyres but the tyre age factor will take its toll anyways. Although, the task of the rubber mixture and beading is to protect the rubber from natural elements but they fail to provide an indefinite shield, as over a period of time, since the tyre ages, they are consumed by these elements. Here, another tyre ageing factor is the continuous diminishing of the thick inner-liner due to constant oxygen and heat exposure. The day-by-day shrink in the gauge of the liner allows oxygen to pass through the liner more frequently into the rubber leading to more oxygen exposing.

5. Lack of use

The rubber mixture used in the making of the tyre comprises of protective wax, which acts as a shield to the tyre from oxidation. After manufacturing, when the tyre hits the tarmac and starts to flex and compress during the use, the protective wax works its way to the surface. Likewise, when the tyre is in idle state the wax protection left on the surface of the tyre from earlier use is consumed by oxidation which results in an unshielded tyre. Therefore, when the tyre is not rotated for a long time the protective wax is not restored as it only replenishes when the tyre flexes and compresses on the surface. Hence, tyre degradation also depends on the frequency of usage.


Preventive Measures

Even though it’s impossible to stop a tyre from degrading or ageing, but still with a few precautions and proper tyre care you can increase the life of your car tyres.

1. First of all, never opt for tyre shine solution as most of them contain petrochemicals and silicone that will disperse the wax protectant infused by the tyre maker leaving the tyre unprotected from natural elements.

2. Deep and excessive washing of tyres with harsh solutions also decreases the life of tyres, although they might make the tyre appear pristine, but will remove the necessary wax protectants instilled for tyre preservation. Drive your car/vehicle often, as regular usage will allow wax protectant to move to the surface of the tyre and shield it against ozone injury.

3. As per the leading tyre makers, the life-expectancy of a tyre is of 6 to 10 years approximately. And here, even if the car is left abandoned for years the assault of natural elements will lead to the degradation of the tyre.

4. In order to avoid premature tyre degrade, look for tyre cracking or bulging marks across the tyre alongside always keep in mind the tyre manufacture date mentioned on the sidewalls of the tyre.

Ankit verma

Author: Ankit verma

1 thought on “Tyre Degradation Causes & Preventive Measures”

  • my wife took her car a toyota aygo for its mot the vehicle is on a 2016 plate all tough it passed the mot they stated that the vehicle is close to tyres degrivation the comment from the tester was not used enough on the motorway

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