Tire Tech

Tire Contact with Petrochemicals & Solvents

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Tire compounds are made up of a combination of natural and synthetic rubbers, as well as carbon black and other chemicals. This makes their rubber compounds susceptible to damage from direct contact with gasoline, oil and antifreeze, as well as solvents often found in family garages. Extra care should be taken to avoid spilling gas when filling the lawn mower or spilling paint thinner when cleaning oil-based paint from brushes.

Tire Photograph

Prolonged contact with gasoline where this tire was parked accumulated in the tread sipes and dissolved some of the tread rubber in the tire footprint.

Probably the most common contact with petrochemical products is made at gas stations where inattentive motorists have spilled gasoline when returning the fuel nozzle to the gas pump or by overfilling their gas tanks.

Warning: Avoid driving through or parking in gasoline when you are refueling your vehicle. Drive to a different gas pump if you see dark pavement, all-purpose absorbent or a rainbow on the pavement.

As shown in the captioned picture, capillary action will draw the fluid up into the tire sipes if you drive/park in gasoline. While the gas will evaporate from the tread surface relatively quickly, it may remain active longer in the tread sipes.


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