Retreading, also known as tyre recapping or remoulding, is a process in which a worn-out tyre’s tread is replaced with a new layer of rubber. The practice of retreading tyres has been around for many years and is commonly used in various industries, including commercial trucking, aviation, and agricultural equipment. It is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to extend the life of tyres and reduce waste.
The retreading process typically involves the following steps:
- Inspection: Before retreading, the tyre undergoes a thorough inspection to assess its condition. Only tyres with a suitable casing, free of irreparable damage, are eligible for retreading.
- Buffing: The old, worn-out tread is removed from the tyre by a buffing machine. This process ensures a clean and even surface on which the new tread will be applied.
- Skiving: In some cases, a skiving process is employed to remove any remaining bits of the old tread and ensure a smooth surface for the new rubber.
- Building: A new layer of tread rubber is applied to the buffed tyre casing. The tread is pre-cured, which means it is partially cured before being placed on the tyre.
- Curing: The tyre, now with the new tread applied, is placed into a curing chamber where it undergoes a curing process. The tyre is heated, and the new rubber tread bonds with the tyre casing.
- Final Inspection: Once the curing process is complete, the retreaded tyre undergoes a final inspection to ensure it meets safety and quality standards. The tyre is checked for any defects or issues that may have occurred during the retreading process.
Advantages of retreading include:
- Cost savings: Retreading is considerably cheaper than buying new tyres. It allows fleet operators and vehicle owners to save money without compromising on safety.
- Environmental benefits: By reusing the tyre casing and extending its life, retreading reduces the demand for new tyres and, in turn, conserves natural resources and reduces waste.
- Performance: When done properly, retreaded tyres offer performance similar to new tyres. The same quality rubber compounds are used, and the retreading process ensures proper adhesion of the new tread to the casing.
It is important to note that not all tyres are suitable for retreading. The tyre’s casing must be in good condition, and the number of times a tyre can be retreaded is limited to ensure safety and performance. Additionally, the quality of retreading can vary depending on the manufacturer and the process used, so it is crucial to use reputable retreading facilities with a strong track record of quality and safety.