Why Are Tires Black?

When you’re driving on a long-winded road, taking on the back-breaking task of changing your tires for the appropriate season or hiring tire services for repairs, you might wonder: Why are tires black? While it may not be the most pressing question on the tongue of every car owner, it is a timeless question as tires seemingly have been black since the dawn of time (or since tires were created). The black tire has a brief history as it was created to optimize vehicles and make them more efficient for the road nearly 150 years ago. Without the colour of the tire, cars, as we know them, would not run as smoothly over most surfaces and would not be nearly as durable nor safe to drive along a long stretch of road.

Find out the history of the tire colour, what chemical makes a tire black and how it all continues to benefit a modern driving car.


The concept of the black tire wasn’t officially established until the late 1800s. Before that, buggies used wooden wheels that had iron wrapped around it. As vehicles became more advanced, this metal wheel quickly became outdated, unsafe, and unusable. Then, in 1895, the black tire started to become widely produced for better traction on slippery surfaces and for durability purposes. An experiment that led to the black tire was mixing soot and rubber materials and then combining them with cotton threads—using these materials made for a  more durable, sustainable, and stable vehicle component. The use of soot in tires eventually led to what we use on tires today that makes them black, carbon black. Carbon black is made from various petroleum products. This substance was originally used to make lampblack, but its properties made could also be applied to the long-wearing tire.

Unbeknownst to some car owners, the black colour of the tires is actually easier to clean. The black colour of tires came about as the result of experiments made by tire makers to improve their products. One of the experiments was the addition of soot from industrial processes into the mixture of rubber. This soot made the rubber dark and improved the tires’ durability and stability. It also improved the heat shedding properties of the rubber, which resulted in the carbon black that we see on our tires today.

Another reason why tires are black is to improve the strength of the material. Carbon black increases the durability of the wheel rubber, and a heavier tire means a safer, more reliable ride. The tires on your car are responsible for almost every performance factor, from braking to ride comfort. These reasons make black tyres the most popular today. They’re also more practical. White tires are often seen as luxurious and have a dark appearance. The use of carbon black in the production of a tire is an important part of its manufacturing process. This substance is obtained by burning petroleum derivatives. Its high smoke point makes it necessary for the durability of the wheel rubber. Although black carbon smoke point used to be lower, today it is widely used in tires, and it is essential for the safety of the road.

The carbon in the tire also conducts heat away from the tread, which makes it sturdier and lasts longer. The carbon in a tire helps the rubber retain its grip on the road. The carbon black colour of a car’s tires is essential for its safety and the safety of its drivers. They also enhance the tensile strength of the rubber. This material is a stabilizing agent, which makes the tire harder and less susceptible to damage. It also protects the rubber’s interior from UV rays and helps it withstand extreme temperatures. However, carbon black is a very common additive in tires. This additive is used in tires to prevent heat from reaching the tread.

The next time you need a tire repair, you’ll alreadyl be equipped with the knowledge of why a tire is black and the varied reasons it ultimately benefits our vehicles. Some of the benefits of the black tire include reinforcing the strength of the rubber, improving the practicality of a car, and the ability to keep us safe when we are on the road. While the colour of the tire may seem trivial, it cannot be understated how vital the colour of the tire actually is in improving the way we drive.


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