Most of the tires which have been utilized over the last 100 years have been pneumatic tires. They are made from rubber and allow for a far more comfortable ride than other kinds of materials. The contemporary transportation system of the world relies completely on pneumatic tires.
The pneumatic tire is a durable rubber tire and is then compressed with air. Motorized vehicles including trucks, buses, cars, airplanes and motorcycles all use pneumatic tires. Non-motorized wheeled vehicles, such as bicycles, also utilize pneumatic tires.
The history of tires begins with the creation of iron bands around wooden wheels. The use of solid rubber in the creation of tires started in the middle part of the 19th century. The first patent for a successful pneumatic tire was issued in 1888 to Irishman John Dunlop who created an inner-tube for a bicycle tire. This was when the word "pneumatic" started to describe tires.
In the year 1895, Andre and Edouard Michelin produced the first pneumatic tires for cars in France. The Michelin brothers' company was destined to become a top manufacturer of tires for automobiles. The very first company in the US to make tires was Goodyear Tire company founded in 1898, followed by the Firestone Tire & Rubber company in 1900, the second United States company to make tires.
A rubber inner tube was utilized in all pneumatic tires in the first part of the 20th century to be able help hold the air pressure. Tires were made of reinforced layers of plies or cord covered with rubber. The plies were laid on an angle or bias to strengthen it and to define the tire's shape. These "bias ply" tires had a tread pattern for traction.
Modern radial tires are constructed with the plies running at 90 degrees across the tire body. Inner tube is not required since the tire forms an airtight seal with the wheel. This was the Michelin's brother's creation in 1948. The tires did not become widely used until the late 1970s. Radial tires offer better fuel economy and last longer.