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Tyre Tread Designs And What They Mean

Learn the significance of tyre tread designs for vehicle traction and safety. Explore symmetrical, asymmetrical, and unidirectional patterns for improved performance on the road.

  • 30 Nov 2016
  • 3 min read

The technicalities of your tyre tread design

Since the dawn of time, when mankind invented the wheel, one issue which man has consistently faced over the ages, is traction. Tyre treads were invented to provide traction or grip to your vehicle. From solid rubber tyres, back in 1888 to non-pneumatic airless tires today, tyre treads have come a long way.

Today, tyre treads not only provide traction, but also help in increasing the efficiency of your vehicle.

The Science Behind Tyre Treads

Modern treads are made of synthetic rubber or natural rubber, fabric and wire along with carbon black and other chemical compounds. The rubber consists of grooves which are designed to expel water from between the tyre and road. The traction of the tyre depends upon the proportion of rubber to air space. Therefore, deeper patterns give higher traction and increase safety.

Tyre treads come in a variety of patterns and are categorised based on the geometrical shapes of the grooves. The grooves which run circumferentially around the tire, are needed to channel away water. Other parts of the tread include lugs and voids. Lugs make contact with the road surface, whereas voids offer spaces between lugs and allow them to flex. The valleys cut across the tire, perpendicular to the grooves, are called sipes. They allow the water from the grooves to escape to the sides.

Types Of Tyre Tread Patterns

There are three basic types of tyre tread patterns:

Symmetrical Tyre Tread Pattern

These are mainly used in car tyres and function irrespective of the rotational direction. Symmetrical tyres possess a continuous design throughout the make.

Asymmetrical Tyre Tread Pattern

In asymmetrical type, both the sides of the tyre tread are dissimilar in design. This helps in offering better traction on flat out roads and also gives a better grip while turning the vehicle. Thus, the outer area has a broader design than the inner.

Unidirectional Tyre Tread Pattern

This type of a tread pattern is efficient for high speed vehicles. The V-shaped grooves help the tyre to cut through the resistance easily while offering a better grip. The unidirectional pattern of the tyre is ideally fitted only in a specific direction.

Also read:

Should You Worry About Tyre Treads?

The constant usage of tyres makes them one of the first elements to wear off. Therefore, it is suggested to replace your tyres when the tread is less than 3mm as the performance gradually declines with an increase in the chances of skids and accidents.

According to a research by the Transport Research Wing of India, in 2014 the number of fatalities in case of motorised two-wheelers reached a whopping 1.5 lakh. In India, two wheelers account for 70% of all vehicles. Unfortunately, until last year, only 25% of these were reported to own motorbike insurance.

Riding an uninsured vehicle exposes you and your loved ones' to danger. Thus, it is strongly recommended to buy long term two wheeler insurance with online renewal in addition to checking your tires’ thread, to enjoy your rides and stay on the road, worry-free.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It may contain outdated data and information regarding the Insurance industry and products. It is advised to verify the currency and relevance of the data and information before taking any major steps. ICICI Lombard is not liable for any inaccuracies or consequences resulting from the use of this outdated information.  

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