Understanding and Detecting Heat Generation in All Steel Radial Tires


All steel radial tires are widely used in various vehicles, particularly in heavy-duty trucks, buses, and commercial vehicles, due to their excellent durability, stability, and load-bearing capacity. However, heat generation is a common issue in these tires that can lead to structural damage, tire failure, and accidents. This article aims to explore the causes of heat generation in all steel radial tires, how to identify shoulder gaps caused by heating, and the reasons for the high probability of problems in the tire shoulder and tire bead.

Reasons for heat generation of all steel radial tires

  1. Internal Factors

a. Tire Structure and Materials

The structure and materials used in all steel radial tires contribute to heat generation. The combination of steel belts, radial plies, and a rigid bead construction leads to increased stiffness and resistance to deformation, which in turn causes heat to accumulate within the tire.

b. Manufacturing Quality

Poor manufacturing quality can lead to uneven distribution of materials and internal stresses in the tire, causing imbalances and heat generation. For example, improper curing or insufficient vulcanization during the manufacturing process can result in uneven hardness and density, leading to an increase in rolling resistance and heat generation.

  1. External Factors

a. Vehicle Load

Overloading a vehicle can cause excessive stress on the tires, leading to increased flexing and deformation. This increased strain on the tire structure generates heat, which can accelerate tire wear and cause damage to the internal components.

b. Road Conditions

Rough road surfaces, such as potholes, sharp objects, or uneven pavement, can cause damage to the tire structure, leading to an increased likelihood of heat generation. Additionally, driving on steep inclines or at high speeds can contribute to increased tire stress and heat buildup.

c. Inflation Pressure

Underinflation or overinflation of a tire can lead to increased rolling resistance, which generates heat. Underinflated tires have more surface area in contact with the road, causing excessive flexing and heat generation. Overinflated tires, on the other hand, reduce the tire’s ability to absorb road irregularities, which leads to increased stress and heat generation.

Identifying Heat-Induced Shoulder Gaps in All Steel Radial Tires

Shoulder gaps are spaces between the tread blocks in the shoulder area of the tire. These gaps can be caused by excessive heat generation, leading to the expansion and separation of the tread blocks. Identifying shoulder gaps in all steel radial tires is essential to prevent further damage or potential tire failure. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Visual Inspection

Regularly inspect the tire’s surface for signs of uneven wear, cracks, or separation between the tread blocks. Shoulder gaps caused by heating may appear as irregularities in the tread pattern or as visible gaps between the tread blocks.

  1. Tread Depth Measurement

Use a tread depth gauge to measure the depth of the tread in the shoulder area. If there is a significant difference in tread depth between the shoulder and center of the tire, this may indicate the presence of shoulder gaps caused by heat generation.

  1. Temperature Monitoring

Monitor the tire’s surface temperature using an infrared thermometer or a contact-based temperature probe. If the shoulder area’s temperature is significantly higher than the rest of the tire, it could indicate the presence of shoulder gaps caused by heat generation.

Exploring the Susceptibility of Tire Shoulder and Bead Issues in All Steel Radial Tires

  1. Tire Shoulder

The tire shoulder is the area where the tread and sidewall meet. It is highly susceptible to damage and heat generation due to the following reasons:

a. Higher Stress Concentration

The shoulder area experiences higher stress concentration compared to the central tread region. This is because it undergoes more flexing and deformation during cornering, acceleration, and braking. The increased stress can lead to heat generation and contribute to the development of shoulder gaps.

b. Limited Heat Dissipation

The tire shoulder has limited exposure to airflow and less effective heat dissipation compared to the central tread area. This reduced cooling capacity can cause heat to accumulate, leading to tread separation and shoulder gaps.

c. Irregular Wear

Shoulder wear is often caused by factors such as misalignment, improper inflation, or excessive load. This irregular wear pattern can cause localized heat generation, leading to the development of shoulder gaps and potential tire failure.

  1. Tire Bead

The tire bead is the inner edge of the tire that sits on the wheel rim, ensuring an airtight seal and proper mounting. The tire bead is susceptible to damage and heat generation due to the following reasons:

a. Bead-to-Rim Contact

The bead-to-rim contact generates friction and heat during vehicle operation. If the tire is not seated correctly on the rim or if there is damage to the bead, this friction can increase, leading to excessive heat generation.

b. High Pressure and Load

The tire bead is subjected to high pressure and load from the tire’s inflation and the vehicle’s weight. This increased stress can cause the bead area to generate more heat, leading to potential structural damage and tire failure.

c. Rim and Bead Damage

Damage to the rim or bead, such as corrosion, deformation, or cuts, can compromise the bead’s ability to maintain an airtight seal and proper mounting on the rim. This can cause increased stress, heat generation, and potential tire failure.

Heat generation in all steel radial tires can be attributed to various internal and external factors, such as tire structure, manufacturing quality, vehicle load, road conditions, and inflation pressure. Regular inspection, monitoring, and maintenance can help identify and address issues like shoulder gaps and potential problems in the tire shoulder and bead areas. By understanding the causes of heat generation and taking appropriate preventative measures, it is possible to prolong the lifespan of all steel radial tires and ensure safe and efficient vehicle operation.

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