2014年10月31日 星期五

History/Manufacturing

The earliest tires were bands of leather,[6] then iron, (later steel), placed on wooden wheels, used on carts and wagons. The tire would be heated in a forge fire, placed over the wheel and quenched, causing the metal to contract and fit tightly on the wheel. A skilled worker, known as a wheelwright, carried out this work. The outer ring served to "tie" the wheel segments together for use, providing also a wear-resistant surface to the perimeter of the wheel. The word "tire" thus emerged as a variant spelling to refer to the metal bands used to tie wheels.[citation needed]
The first practical pneumatic tire was made by Scottish inventor John Boyd Dunlop while working as a veterinarian in May Street, Belfast in 1887 for his son's bicycle, in an effort to prevent the headaches his son had while riding on rough roads. Dunlop's patent application was filed from Oriel House, Westland Row in Dublin in 1893.
Dunlop's patent was later declared invalid because of prior art by fellow Scot Robert William Thomson, although Dunlop is credited with "realising rubber could withstand the wear and tear of being a tire while retaining its resilience".[7] The development of this technology hinged on myriad engineering advances. In terms of materials, the vulcanization of natural rubber is credited to Charles Goodyear and Robert William Thomson. Synthetic rubbers were invented in the laboratories of Bayer in the 1920s.[8] Today, over 1 billion tires are produced annually in over 400 tire factories, see List of tire companies.
Pneumatic tires are manufactured in about 450 tire factories around the world. Over one billion tires are manufactured annually, making the tire industry a major consumer of natural rubber. It is estimated that by 2015, 1.72 billion tires are expected to be sold globally.[9] Tire production starts with bulk raw materials such as rubber, carbon black, and chemicals and produces numerous specialized components that are assembled and cured. Many kinds of rubber are used, the most common being styrene-butadiene copolymer. This article describes the components assembled to make a tire, the various materials used, the manufacturing processes and machinery, and the overall business model.

Styrene-butadiene copolymer (chemical structure pictured) is the most popular material used in the production of rubber tires.[8]
In 2004, $80 billion of tires were sold worldwide,[10] in 2010 it was $140 billion[11] (approximately 34% growth adjusting for inflation).
The top five tire manufacturing companies by revenue are Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, and Pirelli.[12]

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