Probably most of you have never thought about how the tires of your car, motorcycle, truck, or van have been made.

The manufacturing of your tires is very complex. Don’t just think that a tire is just a rounded piece of rubber where air can’t escape. At Conti Moto, in our Hannover factory, we have been optimizing and improving the manufacturing systems of our motorcycle tires for decades.

A few posts ago we wrote about the types of tire carcasses, where we deconstructed the motorcycle tire and provided insight into the construction and workings of your tires.

In this post, we want to give you an idea of how those parts are made and also, how they are assembled.

First of all, let’s explain which materials are used to make a Continental tire.

A tire is mainly made of rubber (41%) with a mix of both natural and synthetic rubber.

The natural rubber mainly comes from a tree called Havea Brasiliensis; however, other species are also used.

These trees generate a resin that produces a milky solution called latex. Latex is one of the most expensive raw materials on earth because it’s a highly exploited natural resource.

Continental, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute of Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology in Germany, has made an important discovery; we’ve learned how to obtain the raw material latex from the roots of a dandelion.

The synthetic rubber is made of a copolymerstyrene-butadiene. In that compound we add a series of additives (30%).

All of the carcass materials that are textiles and metals represent 15%. The remaining components represent 14%, which are what we call: chemical additives that assist in the process of manufacturing or that they help to provide longer life to the tires.

The manufacturing of a tire is divided into a five-part process:

1-. Construction of the Tread

2-. Construction of the Bead (Steel wires covered heavily in rubber)

3-. Construction of the carcass layers

4-. Construction of the carcass belt

5-. Construction of the sidewall

The manufacturing process begins in a big machine called Banbury, which is a big mixer. In this machine, sulfur, carbon, solvents, natural and synthetic rubber, are mixed.

This mixture goes through rollers that mix the components again and creates a thin sheet with the desired thickness.

The beads are made with steel wire covered in rubber.

It’s one of the most important parts of the tire because it creates the air-tight attachment to the rim.

In the next post, we will show you how the carcass is made; how the components are put together in the Zero Degree belt; and also, how they are added to the moldand after the process is completed with a rigorous inspection.

See you next time!