Have you ever wondered how a car tire is made? The main ingredient, as you’re likely well aware of, is rubber. In order to make rubber, however, you need oil. And in order to turn rubber – and a tire’s other ingredients – into a functional tire, you also need oil. Noting this, just how much oil does it take to create a single car tire? According to the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association (RMA), it takes about seven gallons of oil to create a standard car tire. The RMA states that about five gallons of oil are used as the feedstock, while another two gallons are used in the tire manufacturing process itself.
To get a better idea of why so much oil is needed to create a single car tire, you first need to understand the tire-making process.
For starters, tires are actually created from more than 200 ingredients. However, all of these ingredients can be broken down into five main categories: synthetic rubber, natural rubber, carbon black/silica, reinforcement cables and chemical agents. Many of these ingredients are then processed together in large mixers, eventually creating a black-colored rubber compound that can be milled after it is cooled.
After the rubber compound arrives at the mill, it’s cut into strips to form the base structure of the tire. After milling, tires go on to the building stage, where the end goal is a “green” tire, or what’s considered a somewhat finished tire product. During the build stage, the tire’s textile elements are placed in a specialty machine that ensures every part is in its appropriate place. The final step of the tire-making process is curing, which consists of vulcanizing the green tire with hot molds. Essentially, this step cures and compresses the tire to give it its end shape. Due to this comprehensive manufacturing process, you can see where the two gallons of oil comes into play in the creation of individual tires.
More Oil Facts
- One barrel of oil (42 gal) can make approx. 19 gallons of gasoline.
- If our rate of consumption remained the same, the oil below our earth’s surface would last for approximately 53 more years before running out.
- The world uses approx. 85 million barrels of oil each day. The US uses approx 19.8 million barrels each day.