Why Are Car Tires Black Anyways?
Ever wonder why car tires are black instead of blue, green or even red?
While there are novelty tires which display different colors, there is actually a good reason for most automobile tires being black. Life extension.
There is a stabilizing chemical added and blended with the tire polymer during it’s production. It’s called ‘carbon black’ and it protects against ozone and UV damage to give the tires added protection. All tire manufacturers use this same additive. Carbon black has the capability to absorb UV rays and ozone and convert them into heat which can be radiated away easily. Thus the life of tires can be increased. Without it, tires would weather and ‘dry rot’ much more quickly.
These absorbers get used up though, they expend themselves in this process of changing UV to heat. As carbon black loses it’s ability to perform, it turns gray. This is part of the reason why black tires fade as they age.
Bonus fact: The first car tires were white.