Tires are an essential part of any vehicle’s performance. They have to handle the dimensional forces from driving and be light enough to meet fuel efficiency and performance requirements. As vehicles become heavier and more complex, they require new industrial tire solutions. As the primary tire material, rubber alone is no longer sufficient to keep up with modern tire applications.

For example, many tire manufacturers use supportive fabrics such as chafer strips and bead wraps to increase the performance and the durability while reducing the overall weight of the tire.  Furthermore, the push toward environmentally-friendly renewables has inspired a tire revolution emphasizing green, lightweight, durable tire materials.

This guide will discuss how tire fabrics are evolving, the advantages the materials offer, and how Tex Tech is leading the way in tire fabric capabilities.

Tire Fabrics

A variety of materials are used as tire fabrics, including:

  • Bead Wrap: Tires use a loop of high strength wire cable that helps keep the tire mounted to the wheel, this wire bundle is often wrapped with a rubber coated nylon or polyester fabric called bead wrap.  The fabric helps to prevent bead wire separation failure and is crucial to keeping the tire seated to the rim during operation and withstands the forces of the installation process.  In addition, it offers an adhesive anchor point for the apex bead filler, sidewall and body plies that loop from bead to bead of the tire.  For efficient tire production, it is crucial that the fabric has a well designed polymer system, including RFL and rubber coatings, to provide sufficient processing tack as well as adhesion to the various rubber stocks.  
  • Chafer Fabric and Flipper Strips: These fabrics extend from the bead up the sidewall of the tire and are used to protect the tires.  In addition, these fabrics provide abrasion resistance from the chafing effects of the rim and reduce damage to the carcass plies.  Chafer fabrics are often woven polyester or Nylon 6,6 materials coated with an adhesive chemistry such as RFL.  The fabric must be properly designed to ensure the pressurized air does not wick through the material.

Advantages of Tire Fabrics

Tire fabrics provide the following important benefits:

  • Maintaining shape: Without the fabric, tires would warp at high speeds. Tire fabrics help tires keep their shape.As many vehicles have transitioned to larger wheels and lower profile tires, meaning less sidewall, the pressures exerted on the sidewalls and beads have increased.  Selecting the proper support fabrics has become crucial in the overall tire design.
  • Supporting vehicle weight: Tire fabrics allow the tires to support the vehicle’s weight without rupturing or losing air pressure.
  • Improved tire performance: The tire fabrics help improve the adhesion between the tire rim and the wheel during the forces applied during acceleration and braking.  They also improve the durability of the tire and increase its lifespan.
  • Flexible: Flexible tire fabrics move with the wheel and mold to the road, reducing the risk of ruptures and tears.
  • Lightweight: Tires need to be lightweight to accommodate high speeds.

Tex Tech’s Tire Fabric Capabilities

Tex Tech is a leading manufacturer of high-performance materials for clients in aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and other industries. Our proprietary tire fabrics are designed to meet individual customer requirements and can be provided in custom widths, lengths and packaging so they are ready for use at the individual tire building lines.  These fabrics will help improve tire manufacturers’ efficiencies and reduce scrap.  We utilize both water and solvent chemistries to develop the proper polymer system for optimized performance.  These materials are used in tires for automotive, agriculture, recreational, off-the-road and many other segments.  We also offer coatings, filtration fabrics, protective clothing, and 3D weaving as part of our extensive line of services. For more information on our selection of products and services, contact us or request a quote