titanium belted radials? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 05-17-2007, 05:38 PM   #1
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titanium belted radials?

Spur of the moment thought: seems like most tires are "steel belted radials". So I wondered, how much steel is in a tire? Enough that you could save a pound by switching to some other alloy? Maybe aluminum would not be strong enough, but titanium has possibilities.

Could be the term is no longer accurate, and tire manufacturers call everything "steel belted" whether the belts really are steel or not. But I suppose it is still all steel, because they'd surely trumpet such a change in a big marketing campaign.
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:06 PM   #2
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Ya, it's really steel. Not sure how much it weighs. Quite a bit, I bet.
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:09 PM   #3
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Spur of the moment thought: seems like most tires are "steel belted radials". So I wondered, how much steel is in a tire? Enough that you could save a pound by switching to some other alloy? Maybe aluminum would not be strong enough, but titanium has possibilities.

Could be the term is no longer accurate, and tire manufacturers call everything "steel belted" whether the belts really are steel or not. But I suppose it is still all steel, because they'd surely trumpet such a change in a big marketing campaign.
I think that would really boost the price of already expensive tires.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:16 PM   #4
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How about kevlar belts. They are used on bike tires, but I am not sure if it would work for cars.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:25 PM   #5
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How about kevlar belts. They are used on bike tires, but I am not sure if it would work for cars.
That would be kinda neat to see if a kevlar contact patch would reduce rolling resistance and provide good traction. I would like to see good quaility lighter inexpensive tires that lasted about 30,000 miles. That way if you got a set of tires you didn't like you would have to use um for 6-7 years before you could try a different one. I rather pay half the price and be able to check out new technology every 2-3 years.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:48 PM   #6
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The majority of tire weight is in the rubber.

Here's a pic from my drifting days to give you an idea of what the steel belt looks like:


Steel is cheap, that's why it's used. It also doesn't expand like aluminum does.

I'm not familiar with kevlar, but it comes down to several things. (1) Cost (2) Rigidity (3) Adhesion to the tread and body of the tire.
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:31 AM   #7
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I always wondered why more tires weren't made with fiber belts rather than steel. After all, the sidewalls of all tires are made from aramid, polyester, and nylon. Fiber is a lot lighter than steel, and it should reduce the tire's moment of inertia.

Steel belts may have to do with marketing than with any performance advantage.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:23 AM   #8
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Their used to be tires which were made with fiberglass belts. They were sort of a step down from steel belts, but a step up from bias ply belts. They did not wear as long and they were not as stable in terms of their shape, as steel belts. My expectation is that steel is the most cost effective material, for the function and mileage.

On one hand it is a drag going 40000 miles if you purchase a set of tires that either doesn't handle as well as you'd like, or makes a lot of noise, or some combination. On the other hand, I hate buying tires or dealing with all of the issues and if I have a tire I am happy with, I'm glad I don't have to bother.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:56 AM   #9
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I think that the Goodyear Fortera tires have Kevlar belts. Aramid is the generic name for Kevlar.
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:54 PM   #10
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They make tires the other way (without steel belts) but then they are not called steel belted radials and aluminut would stand up to the flexing and titanium is way too expensive and tough to form into a wire.
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