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Glossary of Tire Terms

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Diagram of Tire Parts & Wear Signs



  Diagram of Radial Tire Parts and Wear Signs



  To some (the "casual observer") all tires look the same. However look carefully; you'll find modern tire construction technology offers a degree of handling, ride comfort, traction, treadwear and fuel economy that far exceeds tires built merely a few years ago.

Today there are tire designs that contain up to 200 raw materials as well as a complex architecture of steel belts, textile plies and computer designed tread patterns. At Abbsry tire we carry an entire range of tires to meet your needs and purpose. Our qualified tire specialists will be happy to discuss how we can best meet your demands.


Diagram of a tire

Fig. 1 Abbsry Cross Section of Typical Radial Tire


The radial tire revolutionized the industry with its introduction in 1946. Today, virtually all tires sold are radials due to their benefits of superior handling, ride quality and wear.

The benefits of radial construction are attributed to the design of the tire's casing - the part of the tire underneath the tread that forms the foundation of the tire. The casing is made up of a series of cords (most typically polyester) which are combined to form layers or plies. In a radial tire, these plies are positioned so the cords run alongside each other in a series of circular bands across the tread of the tire. Radial construction allows the tire to better flex and absorb the irregularities of the road surface. The radial design also produces much less friction resulting in much longer tread life.

The top layer of the radial casing usually consists of steel belts made up of woven strands of steel cord. Steel belts provide a stable foundation for better tread wear and traction, and also protect the casing against impacts and punctures. Other components may include bead chaffers and cap plies - usually built into performance tires to enhance cornering and stability at high speeds.

The outermost part of the tire, the tread, usually attracts the most attention. The material used is referred to as tread compound, which varies from one tire design to the next. A winter tire, for example, has a compound that provides maximum traction in cold weather. Competition tires, at the other extreme, use a compound designed for very high temperature ranges. The great majority of tires are built with an all season compound that delivers traction in the broad middle range of every day driving conditions. In addition, this compound must deliver good wear; this dual goal of traction and wear remains one of the most challenging design parameters for tire manufacturers.

While tread designs vary tremendously, the elements of the tread are consistent in their use. The tread block provides traction at its leading and trailing edge. Within the block, sipes are often molded or cut to provide additional traction. Grooves are built into tread designs for channeling away water. Shoulder designs provide protection as well as additional traction during hard cornering.



Tires often give their owners early signs of problems that can be corrected. Learning how to “read” these warning signs can help extend the life of your tires by thousands of miles. Here are a few of the most common tire wear problems.


under inflationWear On Both Edges – Under Inflation
If a tire looks like this, it may be under inflated. Under inflation reduces tread life by wearing down the outer edges (shoulders) of the tires. It also reduces fuel economy of your vehicle by increasing the rolling resistance. Not to mention, the excessive heat generated by an under inflated tire can reduce its durability.

The solution - check your tires regularly for proper inflation. If abnormal tire wear continues, misalignment or mechanical problems may be the problem.


over inflation
Wear In The Center – Over Inflation

When a tire is over inflated, the center of the tread bears most of the load and wears out faster than the outside edges. Simply check your tire for proper inflation. If abnormal wear continues, misalignment or mechanical problems may be the problem. The experts at Abbsry Tire can provide a diagnosis and repair.

Cups Or Dips In The Tread – Worn Parts

Cupping, also called dipping or scalloping, is most common on the front tires of a vehicle. This problem may be a sign that your wheels are out of balance, or that suspension or steering system parts are worn out. The experts at Abbsry Tire can provide a diagnosis and possible repair solution.


Wear On One Side – Misalignment
Do the edges of the tread take on a saw-tooth or feathered appearance? This is caused by erratic scrubbing against the road. The solution is toe-in or toe-out alignment correction.
one side wear





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