The trend colour for tyres holds its ground

The colour of car tyres has not followed the fluctuations of the fashion world. Black still holds its ground although there are different colours available for bicycle tyres, for example. There are clear reasons for the tyre world to not eagerly follow fashionable autumn colours. And a lack of imagination is not the reason why designers force consumers to choose age-old black at the tyre store. Some green tyres, among other colours, have been manufactured for trade fairs but for consumers, these special tyres will not be available in the near future. One reason for this is the difficulty in matching the bright colours and the complex component structure of the tyres without changing the tyres’ characteristics. Another reason lies in the current recycling practice with its technologies, which does not support diversified colours.

Tyres are manufactured using special rubber mixtures, which can be used to control their behaviour in different temperatures, for example. Industrial soot is used as a binding material in the mixture, resulting in a black tyre, even when soot is used in small amounts. In a modern manufacturing process, accurate amounts of soot can be used to influence tyre properties but, unfortunately, this aggressive colourant determines the colour of the tyre as well.

Colours tend to fade

Although the development of coloured tyres is possible in principle, black is also chosen for practical and environmental reasons. Black tyres can easily be fitted to car bodies of all types and colours. In addition, the bitumen in the asphalt would dye the tyres black and their desired appearance would change. It is also worth remembering that sunlight damages coloured surfaces and easily fades the original colour, whereas black stays black, even in sunshine.

Tyre recycling is a well-organised process in Western countries today, with nearly 100% of tyres being reused. Dyeing tyres would make their reuse significantly difficult. Colouring agents contain various harmful substances and their recycling would have to be rearranged. For black tyres, the recycling standards have already been established.

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