June 19, 2014

On the subject of tires


Ever wonder what your tires are made of? Tires these days are highly formulated composite structures encompassing several types of rubber compounds, crosslinking agents, plasticizers, stabilizers, and fillers, all designed to provide durability, low wear, and traction. Around WWII, butyl rubber was in short supply, causing rubber scientists to try crosslinking silicone elastomers. The result from one set of tests was Silly Putty. Silly Putty was not terribly successful as a tire material, but made a great children's toy and demonstration tool for polymer scientists. Since WWII, tire compositions have become much more complex as polymer formulations have become more sophisticated.

CPG performed a deformulation analysis of a commercial automobile tire using some common techniques for deformulation analysis, including TGA-FTIR, GC-MS, and SEM-EDS. Read more about this analysis in this application note.