Thursday, 30 April 2015

Tyre Cleaning and Care

Something that Mr. Goodyear discovered by accident, greatly improves wear resistance, and coincidentally, wet traction, it does not make the rubber harder or softer. The polymerization of butyl rubber changes its wear rate and traction, carbon black is the most important feature in traction.
There are two main degrading agents that attack tyres and rubber trim; ultra violet radiation and ozone. Both of these attack the long hydrocarbon chains of the rubber and, by breaking these bonds, shorten the molecules, with resulting loss of elasticity.

Tyre Construction Materials
Tyres can age prematurely and cause rubber to crack due to improper maintenance. Rubber used in tire is based on polymerizing isoprene, which forms a polyunsaturated polymer (Polyisoprene) is the basic elastomer used in tyre construction. Styrene-butadiene co-polymer (SBR) is a synthetic rubber which is often substituted in part for natural rubber based on the comparative raw materials cost. Polybutadiene is used in combination with other rubbers because of its low heat build-up properties

The tyres sidewalls make it resistant to abrasion and chemical attack. Sidewall material includes antioxidants and Antiozonants to help maintain strength and flexibility. This goes on in and behind the sidewalls on which you can see the tyre makers name and the various code digits that the confirm tyres size and rating.
The tyre beads lie at the edges of the sidewalls. They are bands of high tensile steel wire, coated with an alloy of copper or brass to prevent corrosion. The beads, inside their rubber casings, are strong points in tyres. They are what hold it firmly to the wheel and help seal in the air. The apex is the section that joins the bead and sidewall. Triangular in section, it is the cushion between the two.

         Belt package
This lies beneath the tread, which consists of a two rubber layers sandwiching a layer of steel cords. Here is where radial tyres get their name; the cords run radially in the package. This steelwork gives the tyre the strength to resist dents from road impacts.
Like the sidewalls, the tread is a visible part of a car tyre. The tread compound is as important as the tread pattern. Tyres made of hard compounds wear well, while softer ones grip the road better, so compromise, becomes a necessity with passenger tyres

            Tyre body
The body ply, which consists of three layers, one of rubber, one of reinforcing fabric and a second layer of rubber. Rayon, nylon, polyester or Kevlar have replaced cotton as the reinforcing fabric and it is the tyres one or two body plies that give it structural strength while making it flexible.

Materials used
• Rubber - 38%
• Fillers (carbon black, silica, carbon chalk) - 30%
• Reinforcing materials (steel, rayon, nylon) - 16%
• Plasticizers (oils and resins) - 10%
• Chemicals for vulcanization – 4%
• Chemicals as antioxidants – 1%
• Miscellaneous – 1%


[: a chemical compound that prevents or slows down the degradation of material caused by ozone gas in the air (ozone cracking)] [1]

Also known as anti-ozonant, they are used as additives to plastics and rubber, especially in tyre manufacturing.
If you were to see rubber going into a tyre factory, it would be grey, not black. Untreated tyres would have a very short life if they weren't protected against the elements and the environment, so amongst other ingredients, Carbon Black is added during the manufacturing process.

a) Carbon Black- protects the tyre against ultra violet radiation (UVR) by absorbing them and converting them into heat so it can be diffused safely. But the Carbon Black has a limited life-span because, as it does its job, it diminishes itself. As carbon black loses the ability to do its job, it turns grey. This is why rubber greys as it ages. When it is no longer there to protect the tyre, the original grey rubber colour starts to reappear.

b) Antiozonants- along with carbon black, the tyre manufacturer mixes in antiozonant and other protective ingredients to repel ozone from the rubber. The unsaturation will react with ozone, which breaks down causing cracking. These waxes and polymers migrate through the tyre at a molecular level to form a barrier against harmful ozone and ultra violet degradation. As the tyres move (with the car being driven) the rubber flexes and heats up, allowing tiny amounts of the wax to surface. When a vehicle is not being driven (i.e. classic show cars, winter storage, etc.) then without this action and the rubber can easily dry out and rot.

c) Blooming - after the antiozonant works its way to the outside of the tyre and is exposed to the ozone in the air, it oxidizes and turns brown. The technical term for this effect is blooming. Many chemical compounds, especially solvents, react vigorously at ambient temperatures as the oxidizing process takes place between water and the tyre polymer-binding agents. Water tends to wash away the natural oils and micro-waxes that help to maintain the tyres flexibility

d) Solvents - Michelin, Bridgestone, Firestone and most other tyre companies advise against the use of Dimethal solvent tyre dressings (non water- based) because they leach the rubber additives to the tyre surface, which then removes the elasticity from vinyl, rubber and paint; causing them to evaporate out of the substrate and could result in premature drying and cracking, leaving behind a dry inflexible surface.

Tyre Cleaning

The slightly porous nature of rubber (however this varies according to the polymers used) attracts oils, dirt, brake dust and road grime. For any type of protection to work efficiently on rubber it must be able to adhere to the surface. First remove any brake dust, blooming, road tar, grease and grime, silicone and oxidized rubber from the surface to properly clean it.

The key to tyre dressing durability is deep cleaning the tyre, spray or apply your cleaner allow to soak in for a minute or two and then use the power of your dual action car polisher to deep clean carpet brush. This durable 5 inch brush attaches to a backing plate via hook and loop. Instantly transform your random orbital polisher into a multi-purpose scrubber (Porter Cable, FLEX XC3401and etc.) or scrub by hand with a fairly stiff tyre brush, once clean you should be able to take an old white dry terry towel and rub the tyre surface, it should be almost pristine (if not repeat). Tyre cleaner needs to be strong enough to tackle a heavy build-up of tyre dressings, silicone and road grime, but not damage wheel coatings.

Griot's Garage has two excellent products for cleaning rubber. Griot's Garage Rubber Cleaner is for regular cleanings; like a car wash for your tires, cleans rubber tires, trim, and hoses to prepare them for a coat of protectant, it will also removes the white mould release from new tyres. Rubber protectants bond better with clean rubber.

Griot's Garage Rubber Prep is an intense cleaner for heavily soiled rubber tires, trim, mouldings, seals, and hoses, which strips away silicones, sealants, waxes, oils and greases to properly prepare the rubber This gel rubber cleaner removes old dressings and road grime to prepare the surface for a coat of rubber protectant by getting down to the bare tyre rubber; apply with a terry towel to provide some agitation..

Finish tyre cleaning by using a micro fibre towel, the micro barbs in its nap will remove any leftover dirt / debris. Micro fibre came about by combining two DuPont inventions: hydrophobic Polyester (a scrubbing fibre) which also gives the material strength and durability and a hydrophilic Polyamide (an absorbing fibre) that is tremendously absorbent and quick drying

A quality citrus-based cleaner (P21S® Total Auto Wash) should clean the tyres down to the original rubber surface, this is especially important when you apply a new dressing, as dressings won't adhere to, or create the right shine on dirty rubber or silicone residue. This tyre cleaner is a strong concentrate; spray-and-rinse, without scrubbing, if you are starting on an old, neglected surface, use a fairly stiff tyre brush for the first application and a spray & rinse at least 3-4 times a year

Alternative products – Optimum™ Polymer Technologies - Power Clean (diluted 3:1 - 5:1) doesn’t cause leaching or premature aging or P21S® Total Auto Wash

Both Optimum Tire Shine and Opti-Bond Tire Gel are water-based, both are solvent free and contain ozone and UV blockers, Power Clean also is a mild cleaner that does not cause leaching or premature aging of tires.

Ultra Violet Radiation (UVR) Protection

Providing protection from ultra violet radiation (UVR) is very important to avoid photo synthesis (colour fading) particularly in an open-air roadster/convertible (303™ Aerospace Protectant ) UVR protection is a sacrificial / renewable component; this is due to the UV protection layer being degraded by exposure to the elements (sun, sand, road or sea salt, and etc.) so it is imperative that you renew it and needs to be re-applied on a regular 45 to 60 day basis (dependent upon location climatic condition)

Application- use 303™ Aerospace Protectant on a clean surface (there are no cleaning agents in this product) spray product onto a cloth and the surface to be protected should be wet, not just damp. Use a clean, dry cloth and agitate to ensure the protected surface is dry (this product does not air-dry) After application allow 60 minutes for product to cure, then using a 100% cotton cloth to lightly buff surface

Streaking (No, not the kind you see at Rugby matches) ensure that you are not using too much product; a thin layer is all that's required. Be sure also that both your surface and the applicator is clean and has not become saturated. In general, a quick wipe down with a microfiber towel should remove the excess and eliminate it

Ultra Violet Radiation Stabilizers

Ultra Violet Radiation Stabilizers are a group of chemical agents with the ability to counteract or neutralize the harmful effects of radiation. Competitive absorbers provide protection by converting UV light to heat so it can dissipate harmlessly.
Other UV stabilizers work differently, but all UV stabilizers are consumed as they do their job. In a way, they serve as sacrificial molecules, taking the abuse from radiation instead of the material they are protecting.

Due to the protection layer being degraded by exposure to the elements (sun, sand, road or sea salt, and etc.) the stabilizers have to be periodically renewed or replenished if continuing protection is to be achieved, there is no such thing as a permanent protection, it a matter of physics, not chemistry, so it is imperative that you renew it or your surfaces will degrade

1. Eimann Fabrik Tyre Cleaner & Whitewall Brightener is specifically designed to clean tyres also contains optical brighteners to clean and refresh whitewalls and white lettering. Some tyre cleaners contain bleach to brighten whitewalls but bleach can turn the carbon black in tyres a dull grey colour

2. Bleche-Wite® Whitewall Cleaner- contains Butyl Cellosolve (2-butoxyethanol) Sodium Met silicate and Sodium Hydroxide, which are alkaline (pH 13.5) none of which are particularly paint, rubber or human friendly. It will stain / etch clear coat painted wheels and zinc rotors as well as drying out tyres

3. Amazing Roll Off and Purple Power all contain Butyl Cellosolve (2-butoxyethanol) Sodium Met silicate and Sodium Hydroxide, which are acidic, none of which are particularly paint, rubber or environmentally friendly. It may stain / etch clear coat painted wheel surfaces and zinc rotors as well as drying out tyres

Tyre Dressings

As every Concours d'elegance participant knows, dull or weathered tyres spoil the look of an otherwise immaculate vehicle. Matte black tyres with a natural sheen are quite simply the final touch to an otherwise perfectly prepared vehicle.

Detailing relies on the correct preparation procedures and the correct methodology to obtain pristine results. For any tyre protect ant to work well on rubber it must be applied to a clean surface.
Use an ultra-safe formula that contains no petroleum distillates or volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are known to crack vinyl and rubber (Opti-Bond Tire Gel is a safe, water-based formula) A rubber will remove old dressing, any dead rubber and properly prepare your tyre for the application of a protective product. The porous nature of rubber and polymers attracts dirt, dust, and brake dust and road grime.

DO NOT USE tyre dressing on motorcycles, bicycles, or other two-wheeled vehicles tyres or seats avoid spraying onto brake rotors, brake drums or brake pedals.

CarPro PERL Coat - is a durable, water based protective coating that that contains UV protection and is designed to be used on all exterior rubber and vinyl, including tyres. For a durable (up to three months) low glass, natural look, it can be diluted depending on the desired look and the surface being treated. Recommend dilution ratios - External plastics 1: 3, Tyres 1:1, Interior vinyl 1:5

• Pour diluted Perl Coat solution into a spray bottle.
• Apply to a clean dust / dirt free surface
• Shake the diluted mixture well before use. Spray on surface from 20cm distance and wipe off with a microfiber towel.
• PERL Coat can also be applied to tyres and rubber / vinyl trim with a sponge applicator.

Protection Water- based vs. Solvent-based

Petroleum distillates (oils) will remove or break down the protective polymers and waxes in tires the difference between water and solvent based is in the carrier system used. Solvent based products use a hydrocarbon silicone to suspend the product. When you apply it, the solvent evaporates leaving the dressing's active ingredients (silicone oil) behind; this type of silicone leaves a high gloss shine and will repel water longer but it is non-biodegradable. Most high gloss products are based upon (DMS) solvents.
Water-based dressings (usually a milky-white liquid) use a combination of natural oils and polymers to offer a non-greasy, satin finish

Water- based dressings

Pros - fast drying, non-greasy, non-slick finish, matte sheen and environmentally friendly

Cons- limited durability when exposed to the elements, potential for streaking in rain

For vehicles fitted with ceramic brakes and / or pads; products that contain DMS solvents are not recommended as it can contaminate the pads and render them ineffective

Silicone [: more precisely called polymerized siloxanes or polysiloxanes, silicones are mixed inorganic-organic polymers with the chemical formula [R2SiO] n] [1]

Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) [belong to a group of polymeric organ silicon compounds, which are commonly referred to as silicones.] CAS number - 63148-62-9 (PDMS) sometimes called 

Dimethicone, is optically clear, and, in general, is considered to be inert, non-toxic and non-flammable.

a) Water-based silicone dressings - usually a milky-white liquid that don’t contain petroleum distillate solvents that can harm rubber and/or vinyl over time; water-based dressings use a combination of natural oils and polymers that coat and bond to offer a non-greasy, satin finish
(Zaino Z-16 Perfect Tyre Gloss or Swisswax Pneu) Some of these products also contain ultra violet radiation (UVR) blocking agents to help keep tyres from cracking, fading and hardening. Most, if not all water-based dressings are biodegradable whereas solvent- based silicone is not.

b) Solvent-based silicone dressings - usually a clear greasy liquid, Dimethalsiloxane (DMS) (paraffinic hydrocarbons) that contain petroleum solvents as a cleaning agent. These penetrating-type silicone oils form a flexible protective shield that prevents penetration of moisture and dirt. Most silicone dressings, although very durable, leave a never-dry high gloss film, they remove the elasticity from vinyl, rubber and paint; causing them to evaporate out of the substrate, leaving behind a dry inflexible surface.

When a solvent-based tyre dressing combines with carbon black it forms a liquid that when slung on the plastic body parts of a lighter colour will irreparably stain the paint
Most high gloss products are based upon DMS silicone oil, the difference between water and solvent based is in the carrier system used. Solvent based products use a hydrocarbon silicone to suspend the product. When you apply it, the solvent evaporates leaving the dressing's active ingredients (Silicone oil) behind; solvent-based silicone is not environmentally friendly / biodegradable

Many tyre manufacturers (BF Goodrich, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli, etc.) have issued technical service bulletins advising against the use of tyre dressings containing Dimethalsiloxane (DMS) a petroleum distillate solvent. This type of solvent will dissolve away the protective waxes and can actually aggressively compromise the sidewall. In the event of warranty sidewall failure, one of the first things tyre manufacturers look for is evidence of the use of these types of products. When found, this is often the cause for not warranting the tyre’s sidewall failure.

The big three auto companies (Ford, General Motors and Chrysler) have issued advisories or technical bulletins to their dealers to not use heavy petroleum distillate-dimethyl silicone oil dressings for another reason; paint and wheel surface staining. Auto companies have found that it is next to impossible to remove the stains, In some cases, even repainting the part doesn’t' t work as the stain comes back through the new paint, requiring the part to be replaced. Most factory styled wheels are coated with a clear coat type of coating. Some are more porous than others and use of an incorrect dressing may stain them the same as the body parts.

Tire Dressing Overspray (Sling)

As you drive the tyres rotate and the inertia can cause tyre dressing to ‘sling’. Tyre manufacturers use carbon black to protect them against ultra violet radiation. Using a dimethal solvent-based dressing (usually a clear greasy liquid) emulsifies it, if this contaminated dressing comes in contact with your paint and if it dries it will it will dye / cause a stain; it’s especially noticeable on light coloured and can irreparably stain the paint light colours.

                Remedy- This can be caused by (a) applying the product to an improperly cleaned surface, to which it cannot adhere too. The preparation of the surface is the cause of this problem not the product (B) and / or an excess of product, after the dressing has penetrated remove any excess. Apply a thin and even coating and then buff surface with a clean dry towel 5-10 minutes later to remove any excess and even out the coating.

Removal - removing tyre dressing ‘sling’, exhaust carbon or petroleum gas stains from paintwork. Use a Limonene based (citrus) cleaner 3M Citrus Cleaner Adhesive Remover Spray, ValuGuard "N" New Car Prep, P21S Paintwork Cleaner or Klasse All-In-One, failing this use an abrasive polish / pad.

Unfortunately, the only permanent remedy is to remove the stained paint down to e-coat, primer and base coat, clear coat (BC_CC)

Tyre Storage

The Tyre Garage lets you to safely store seasonal tyres outside, which frees up extra space in your storage areas. This innovative, new product is made of the same rugged, weatherproof material used for boat covers and awnings. It retains its colour and strength for years of normal exposure to sunlight and rain. It also resists mildew and cleans easily Also great for inside storage, it will cover up that unsightly pile of tyres - TOTL

• Pack each tyre separately in tyre covers (TireTote) storage bags will work just as well, provided that they are sealed.
• Store the winter tyres in a cool, dry place. Basements and garages are good storage places, as well as temperature regulated, water proof sheds. If none of these options are available, contact a reputable tyre dealer that offers tyre storage.
• Stack the tyres flat on their sides, not more than four tyres high. Tyres stacked more than four high are unstable and can tip over.
• Check the tyre pressure for each set of tyres when it's time to remount the tyres. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for the appropriate tyre pressure

I hope the above article was informative. By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire. I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professionals alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.

I would appreciate it if you would share this article as it helps other detailers further their knowledge. Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated.

Copyright © 2002 - 2012 TOGWT® (Established 1980) all rights reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment