What are those tiny hairs on my tyres?

We all have seen those tiny little rubber hairs sticking out of tyres but never bothered to understand the purpose of their existence. Those little rubber nibs that cover tyres are a common source of mystery but actually play a vital role. You might be wondering why are they there? Or what do they do and if they are important? Keep reading to know the answers!
Let’s round up some myths on the odd little plastic nibs before we get into what they are.

  • They are a good way to know a tyre’s age or condition (they aren’t).
  • They need to be removed (they don’t)
  • They should never be removed (you can)
  • They are ugly (subjective opinion)

Kill the myths – follow the truth

The real name for these hairs is called ‘vent spews’. It has other common names such as sprue nubs, tyre nibs, gate marks or nippers. These hairs play a vital role in the tyre manufacturing process. You first need to know a thing or two about how tyres are made to understand why:
· First, a tyre compound known as a green tyre is built into shape but with no markings, information or tread pattern on and it is placed into a tyre mould.
· Second, heat and pressure is applied to the green tyre which causes the rubber to expand and fill the mould, taking on the tread pattern and brand label in the process.
The pressure and heat produced during the application increases the risk of air bubbles forming between rubber and mould. The formation of mould is prevented by air bubbles.
To let the excess pressure escape as the rubber expands, a spew hole, or vent sprue is used.
Vent Spews are made when air escapes to ensure no air bubbles are between tyre and mould. The escaping air takes with it little bits of the rubber.
The spews on the shoulders and sidewall of the tyre remain intact, but spews on the tread face are mostly shaved off.

Now coming to the question if you should you remove them?

It does not really matter if you remove them or not. These vent spews do not have any functional purpose after manufacturing. Some car owners like to shave or clip the nibs down even though there is no practical reason to remove them. Avoid using scissors and blades to cut the spews. Instead just grab them with your hand and pull them off. This can actually act as a pretty good stress reliever.
Get your hands on a fresh set of tyres at AJAJ TYRES near you. Apart from Selling Tyres we also do Tyre Recycling, Tyre Repairs and Restoration, Wheel Alignment & more. Call us Monday to Saturday at (02) 9793 9285, (02) 8798 7610 or 0414 969 969. You can also send your inquiries at our email address info@ajaytyres.com.au.

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