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Radial tires: advantages and disadvantages

Radial Tires structure

Radial tires were invented by Michelin and began to go on sale in 1946. The invention of this type of tire has had a particular impact on many sectors of activity, but most of all on the agricultural sector.
Radial tires are mainly used in the agro-industrial sector, where they have determined a continuous evolution of the techniques applied.

Tires are divided into two categories depending on the design, namely radial tires and diagonal tires or BIAS. The difference between the two types is given by the way in which the rubber layers overlap.
In the case of a radial tire, the deposition is radial and starts from the middle of the tire or at an angle of 90 degrees compared to the direction of travel.

Unlike radial tires, in diagonal tires, the arrangement of the layers is diagonal. The layers make a overlapping, crossed pattern, the angulations determined by their meeting being between 30 – 40 degrees.

Cross-sectional view of a radial tire structure
What are the advantages of a radial tire?

When we have to choose between radial or diagonal tires, it is good to know what are the main advantages but also specific disadvantages. Radial tires have many advantages, of which we can list:

  • Flexible flanks
  • Flank flexibility allows for increased comfort during running
  • Low fuel consumption
  • Low consumption is due to the ease of transfer from the engine to the ground of the developed energy
  • Increased energy transfer from engine to tread
  • Increased resistance to damage to the striations
  • Changing these tires on your own is very easy
  • Generates a smaller amount of heat, even if the car is moving at increased speed
  • Provides increased traction
  • Determines a lower level of vibration
  • It causes a low degree of compaction and damage at the tread level
  • The tire is flexible but at the same time particularly strong
  • It is able to absorb shocks, bumps or bumps to an increased degree compared to diagonal tires

There’s a high degree of comfort for passengers thanks to the flanks. These flanks, through their flexibility, allow to achieve an increased degree of stability but also maximum contact between the surface of the tire and the road

They are made in such a way that the vehicles on which they are installed can withstand much higher load loads. Allow the costs needed to be reduced for possible replacement due to easier maintenance and a significantly higher lifespan

As a result of allowing better handling of the car and lower rolling resistance, they allow for lower fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs.

Disadvantages of radial tires

  • Even if there are less disadvantages compared to the described advantages, radial tires may as well have some disadvantages.

The most notable might be:

  • They have a steel belt/band that does not function so well if the roadway is provided with small bumps
  • Tire flanks, being flexible, show a certain degree of vulnerability when they come into contact with the curbs
    They’re much noisy when running because their streaks are of a higher hardness


Can we consider radial tires to be more advantageous?

If we compare a radial tire with a diagonal one, obviously the radial tire will be more indicated because it has superior aspects in terms of safety and flexibility.

But even if we refer to the increased resistance and their ability to absorb shocks, the choice will remain the same. Although more expensive, radial tires are more cost-effective in the long run.

We have to take into account this particularly important aspect because it will save us a lot of unnecessary problems and expenses. Moreover, these tires contribute to lower fuel consumption, allow low road damage and have low rolling resistance. In terms of design, tires of this type allow a long use, which leads to a lower replacement cost.

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