How much does a tyre weigh?

  • Author: OPONEO.CO.UK

Have you ever wondered how much a tyre weighs? More specifically, perhaps you’re interested in learning which elements of the tyre weight the most? Similarly, many drivers often wonder if heavier models offer any distinct advantages, so it is worth exploring the relationship between a tyre’s weight and its performance. Here, we will discuss how significant a parameter a tyre’s weight can be and what dilemmas are faced by tyre manufacturers as a result.

In truth, weight is one of the most important parameters for any sort of car tyre. The final mass is the result of a carefully selected tyre structure and the various solutions used within its internal design. Even in situations where a given size of tyre is produced at different factories (including different global locations), all plants are obliged to conform to the set weight.

light michelin tyre

Will lighter tyres prove a better or worse choice? What does it depend on?

The Importance Of Reducing Tyre Weight

A lower tyre weight enables a multitude of factors. The most important of which include a reduction in the rolling resistance, enabling a lower fuel consumption rate for the vehicle itself.

It also similarly offers a decreased unsprung weight. This results in better performance for vehicles when braking, acceleration or undergoing precision steering maneuvers. It also helps to offer better driving comfort and lower wear and tear on the car’s suspension elements.

Because of these benefits, most manufacturers aim to reduce the weight of their tyres with every successive generation. This leads to better performance parameters for the product, as well as lower costs of production and materials for the manufacturer. However, this situation can often be different when producing high-performance tyres, as weight is a particularly important parameter. Here, companies often use advanced technologies and materials which may cause the tyre to be more expensive, even if it is still lighter.

Methods Used To Reduce The Tyre Weight

There are many ways in which a manufacturer can reduce the weight of a tyre. This includes:

  • Reducing the thickness of individual tyre elements.
  • Tyre slimming. This is achieved by reducing the weight of particular elements, such as narrowing belts, treads and tyre faces.
  • Utilising lighter tyre design concepts, such as lighter materials. This doesn’t just include the rubber, as it can also include steel and textile cords made from light fibres.

Weight plays a significant role in any tyre manufacturing process and the weight of every tyre is precisely defined. Of course, small deviations within an acceptable tolerance range are permitted. These limits tend to be more restricted when dealing with tyres with approvals requirements.

For those tyres that do not fall within these tolerance limits, they are considered defective and will not be sold to customers. If the weight is too small or large when compared to the specified, target value, it may indicate a number of issues. This includes missing elements (if the tyre is too light), incorrect parts, the introduction of a foreign body (making the tyre heavier) or an unstable production process.

Tyre tread

The tread makes the greatest percentage contribution to a tyre’s weight.

How Much Do Typical Tyres Weigh?

The car tyres market is a very diverse businesses, with many different size models available. This can range from 13-inch tyres for small city cars, up to the models measuring over 20 inches and used for sports cars and SUVs. Naturally, these tyres all differ in weight. Here are a few examples:

car tyres on sport car

Car tyres designed for sports vehicles are statistically heavier.

Differences in tyre weights

There is often a significant different in the weights of larger size tyres, as this results from the different solutions used in the designs. This is because bigger models need to guarantee a higher performance and withstand greater speeds and loads. It may often be that, for the same model and size, tyres with a higher speed index and those of extra load (XL) types are heavier. This is a result of the additional elements featured in the design to help reinforce the tyre and provide a more massive structure.

It has already been highlighted in this article how many kilograms various sizes of tyre may weigh, but what is the proportional representation of this weight when looking at the various elements of a tyre.

Every radial car tyre currently produced most contain a number of elements in its construction, including a bead wire and filler, butyl liner, textile cord layer (carcass), side alloy band, tread and belts (this includes both steel belts and a screen, consisting of a belt with a zero-degree angle).

The construction of a tyre

How Different Elements Contribute To Tyre Weight

Depending on the intended use of a tyre, its speed and load indices, design concept and production process, the tyre’s structure may also include some additional elements. It should be noted, however, that these generally make a smaller contribution to the total weight than the principal elements, not more than a few percent in each case.

Of the principal elements, the great contribution comes from the tread, which accounts for approximately 35% of the total tyre’s weight. For example, the tread on a size 205/55 R16 tyre may weigh around 2.8 to 3. 2 kg, while the tread on a R13 would only weigh 2 kg.

Furthermore, in the case of low-profile tyres, which feature low sidewalls, a significant circumference and a wide face, the tread can contribute above and beyond 40% of the weight. Likewise, the tread is the only part of the tyre which can change weight as the tyre is being used. As it becomes worn down, with rubber being removed from the top layer, it naturally becomes lighter than its original form.

Chart: The percentage of individual components in car tyres weight

A breakdown of what elements make up a car tyres rate

As you can see, a lighter tyre is often better, although larger tyres often need to add weight to support themselves. Many tyre manufacturers strive to offer the right balance, but it’s important not to forget the other criteria tyres provide as well.

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