Why are tires black?
WHY ARE TIRES BLACK?
The sidewalls of tires which are parked for extended periods dry, check and split. Annually, tire “dry-rot” is a multimillion dollar problem for RVers, trailer boaters and owners of classic cars. This engineering memorandum is a scientific examination of the whys of the process and explains in detail how 303 Protectant is an answer to the tire dry-rot problem.
Tire manufacturers blend into the tire polymer certain chemical ingredients which inhibit damage from ozone and ultraviolet light, the main
environmental degradents of tires and all other types of synthetic and natural rubbers. Ozone is an odorless gas, but is commonly thought of as the “electric train smell”. Though more severe in cities and manufacturing centers, ozone is part of the are we breathe everywhere on earth,. Hastened by the hazardous effects of UV light, ozone eventually causes rubber to dry and become brittle no matter the locale.
ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT: The need to protect rubber against UV damage is why tires are black. For this purpose a common type of UV stabilizer called a “competitive absorber” is used. Competitive absorbers work by capturing & absorbing harmful UV light wave energy (instead of the adjacent molecule of tire polymer. . .that’s why it’s called “competitive”). Competitive absorbers have the added ability to convert harmful UV light wave energy into heat so it can dissipate harmlessly. ALL tire manufacturers use the same competitive absorber, carbon black. . .an extremely inexpensive compound. All other UV stabilizers are prohibitively expensive. This is why tires are black and why tires are not available in designer colors. All UV stabilizers are sacrificial, meaning they are gradually used up to where they can no longer protect against UV damage. As carbon black loses the ability to do its job, it turns gray. This is why rubber grays as it ages.
OZONE: Tire manufacturers use waxes to protect against ozone. When tires are in use (regularly running up and down the road for example) they flex. Flexing causes the protective waxes to migrate to the surface where they form a physical barrier between the air (ozone and oxygen) and the tire polymer. This process … the waxes migrating to the surface of the tire during flexing…is called “blooming”. When tires are not regularly used (a parked RV, boat trailer or classic car, etc.), blooming does not occur. Ozone begins eating away the protective wax and before long reaches the tire polymer. Often by this time, the surface carbon black has lost its ability to protect against UV. With UV light and ozone working in concert, degradation starts. The tire dries, checks and will eventually crack.
OTHER DEGRADANTS: Petrochemicals and silicone oils can remove the protective waxes and increase the rate of degradation. Common automotive “protectants” and “tire dressings” are typically devoid of UV stabilizers of any type and contain petrochemicals and/or silicone oils which dissolve away the protective waxes and can actually aggress the sidewall. In the event of warranty sidewall failure, one of the first things tire manufacturers look for is evidence of the use of these types of products. When found, this is often cause for not warranting the sidewall failure.
303 FOR TIRES: 303 contains no petrochemicals or silicone oils and does not remove the protective waxes. 303 is actually absorbed into tires, delivering its unique set of powerful UV stabilizers into the tire polymer, supplementing and surpassing the UV protective action of the carbon black, and leaving a long-lasting, flexible protective finish that is water repellent, detergent resistant and will not attract dust. Ozone must eat through the 303 before it can get to the wax. 303 is an extremely effective anti-oxidant and anti-ozonant. 303 is the longest lasting, most powerful protective and beautifying treatment for tires and all other synthetic and natural rubber.
TIPS FOR TIRES: Tires treated with 303 Aerospace Protectant have the rich, waxy, almost vinyl-like, dark black look of new rubber. 303 tires look and feel like brand new, not greasy-new.
FOR MAXIMUM TIRE BEAUTY: Spray 303 Aerospace Protectant directly on a clean & dry tire until the sidewall is thoroughly wet with 303. Without touching the rubber, easily wipe away any 303 overspray from the rim. Do each tire the same way. After 10 – 20 minutes, wipe around each tire once or twice with a dry rag to pick up any unabsorbed 303. Your tires will have the look and feel of fresh new rubber.
FIRST TIME USE: On sidewalls that are excessively dried out, two treatments may be necessary the first time. To note: A) The regular use of 303 can entirely prevent the UV and ozone damage associated with parked tires. Reapply 303 every 20-30 days. B) 303 is 100% safe for all types of wheels, all alloys. Wheels regularly treated with 303 repel water, road grime and brake dust and clean up far easier than untreated wheels.