Tires are exposed to harsh environmental conditions depending on your region, be it hot or cold. Not to mention the stress your driving can put on them in those conditions. Extreme heat adds stress to your tires and can result in a dangerous blowout while driving. Older tires are obviously more at risk, but you should always remember to check your tires for any cracking, underinflation, or damage of any kind.
What about extreme cold?
Extreme cold could also have a negative effect on your tires, especially if you’re not driving on winter tires. Summer or performance tires are not only unfit to grip the road in winter, but they also can also crack in extreme cold. If your cold tires crack, it may just be cosmetic, but why take the chance? You should replace your cracked tires immediately for the utmost safety.
The Silica Solution
Winter tires are so much more effective in winter weather because they use silica in the production process. Silica has the same base chemistry as sand, which consists of silicon and oxygen. Silica used in tires does not have a defined shape and is more powder-like as opposed to the grain-like quality of sand. In the manufacturing process, the silica combines with water to create a liquid and plays an integral part in the structure when compounded with a specially formulated synthetic elastomer. The end result is a tire that provides exceptional grip on cold and wet surfaces, as well as reliable durability.
The objective of tire engineers is to properly balance the chemical composition to produce tires that have effective grip, low rolling resistance, and long wear life. The addition of silica as filler can improve wet skid performance by 15% while shortening stopping distance dramatically. This area of research is always producing tires that make driving safer while making tires last longer. The compounds allow the tire to stay flexible at very low temperatures and give your vehicle better grip and more effective braking in frigid weather.
With the combination of innovative tread pattern designs and siping with complex silica compounds, winter tires let you drive with more precision in wintry weather than all-season tires can. Not to mention the dangers of having summer or performance tires that can crack in sub-zero temperatures. It’s all about having the right tires for the occasion and inspecting them regularly. Both extreme hot and extreme cold temperatures can compromise your tires, so be sure you’re riding on tires that are appropriate for all weather conditions.