Tyres FAQ: Why are tyres black?

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There isn't any natural rubber in a tyre's construction. But there are about 200 raw materials from man-made rubbers, reinforcing fillers, rayon, nylon, all sorts of additives and aramid fibres.

Aramids are heat-resistant synthetic fibres with tradenames like Kevlar and Nomex.

This mix is susceptible to damage from ozone and ultra-violet light so manufacturers add carbon black to absorb the UV radiation and convert it to heat which is dissipated harmlessly.

Carbon black is also very hard-wearing.

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Marc Abbott

By Marc Abbott