Launch Slideshow

From inspection to curing: the tire retread process

Retreading truck tires involves a series of precise steps — including inspection, preparation, and repair — to return them to perfect operating condition.

From inspection to curing: the tire retread process

Retreading truck tires involves a series of precise steps — including inspection, preparation, and repair — to return them to perfect operating condition.

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    Photos: Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions

    Visual inspection: A visual, hands-on inspection from bead to bead, inside and out, is done to find and mark all visible defects.
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    Secondary inspection: Electronic inspection is designed to find all “through-the-tire” penetrations in the crown and sidewall areas.
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    Shearography: Determines conditions within the casing by subjecting casing to a vacuum while lasers measure surface anomalies (ie: expanding pockets of air). An animated visual of the anomalies aids in determining the casing’s condition. At the end of the initial inspection, information such as casing condition, casing age, and fleet specifications are considered to determine if the tire can be retreaded.

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    Buffing: The casing is inflated to operational pressure. This process removes the worn tread surface, trues up the roundness, and prepares the surface for a new tread.

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    Repair: Removing all injuries identified during initial inspection and replacing the material with structurally sound materials to return the casing to a useful life.

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    Applying cushion: In a one-step process, an uncured bonding layer is extruded onto the prepared casing surface, all skives are filled, and the shoulders are stripped. The casing is now ready for its new tread.
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    Building: The 5400 OSM Builder automatically applies a new tread so it is straight, centered on the casing, and the end splices match.
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    Enveloping: Encases the uncured, built tire in an elastic envelope in preparation for curing.

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    Curing: An autoclave-type device applies heat and pressure, and over time causes the bonding layer in the built tire to cure. This permanently adheres the new tread to the prepared casing.

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    Final inspection: A final visual check assures the retreaded tire is ready for service.

Fleet Management
From "STREAMLINING TIRE MAINTENANCE"
A Michigan city's fleet cuts costs with a one-stop service agreement and time-saving devices

Curious about how the retread process works? Watch this step-by-step slide show, from tire inspection to bonding. “Rethinking retreads,” PW May 2011.





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