26 August 2010










Scope and objectives

Study on off centering


Graphs and tables





Pneumatic tires are the most versatile and probably the first engineering product made out of polymers and has made it possible the evolution of sophisticated, personalized land transportation system.

It was John Boyd Dunlop who in 1888 developed successfully the Pneumatic tire and before that railways offered the only means of transportation for long distances and horse furnished most of the day to day transportation.

It was the invention of pneumatic tire that widened the horizons of average people and altered their way of life first by popularizing bicycle and then auto mobile, ultimately society itself was changed.

A Pneumatic tire is a toroidal shaped flexible high performance composite membrane capable of containing air or fluid under pressure when mounted on a rim. Chemically the composite membrane essentially consists of two types of polymers that is rubbers and fiber foaming plastics.

In other words it is a thick rubber rainy often filled with air to carry the load which is fitted around the edge of the wheel of the vehicle, allowing the vehicle to stick to road surface and improving smoothness of journey by acting as a shock absorber.


A pneumatic tire performs the following principal functions.

a) It supports the weight of the vehicle

b) It transmits the forces on the vehicle to ground that is, it helps to convert the engine torque to movement of the vehicle.

c) It gives more comfortable ride to passengers or cargo in the vehicle by

i) Acting as an additional spring in suspension system.

ii) Elastic deformations over undulations on road.

d) It permits cornering on the road at relatively high speeds by its capacity to generate higher cornering forces than it would have been possible with a solid tire.


The bead coils are a combination of multi-strand copper-coated high-tensile steel wires. They have the function of providing rigid, practically inextensible units, which retain the inflated tire on the rim under all conditions of loading. The appropriate numbers of wires, formed into a that layer and uniformly separated, are coated with rubber compound by means of a T-head extruder. The layer of wires is coiled to form a ring, and the free wire ends are taped or stapled. The wire treatment and use of fast-curing compound ensure good bonding and a regular bead shape in the finished product. For some purposes, the bead coil is covered with a light cross-woven rubberized textile to contain the wires and preclude any possibility of looseness in service.

Bead Fillers

In those instances where further reinforcement of the tire bead area is required, the already wrapped and apexed bead may be enclosed by a strip of rubberized textile or, in some applications, by steel cords. Emphasis is on the avoidance of localized circumferential stress lines which could promote looseness or cord break-up under constant Ilex conditions. High-grade flexible heat-resistant compounds are essential for this region of the tire.

Carcass Plies

It is the carcass plies that give the tire its strength. These consist of cords of rayon, nylon, or polyester, woven as the warp of a fabric with only very light yarns, widely spaced, as the weft. These weft strands serve to maintain the uniformity of cord spacing during handling but play no part in the performance of the product. The fabric is treated with adhesive, rubberized to a thickness of approximately 1-0 mm. and interleaved with a low moisture regain textile lining. Steel is produced in weft less form from a creel feeding directly through a rubber calendar. The large rolls of rubbered textile approximately 1-5m wide and 300m long are cut into strips, termed plies, on a horizontal Banner machine. This ply cutting plant has facilities for mechanically unwinding large rolls of fabric and simultaneously rewinding the interleaving lining. The fabric sheet is fed forward, through a festoon unit to allow for continuous operation, and then guided along a horizontal multi-belt conveyor to a cross-beam rotary cutting knife This knife is complete with its own drive motor, and the entire unit traverses across the support beam when cutting the material to pre-determined width and bi angle; the latter is variable between 45 and 90, and the operation is controlled by photoelectric cells.

Cut plies are placed manually on adjacent batching tables, where they a joined, end to end, into a continuous length and batched into roll form interleaved with a textile lining to prevent self-adhesion. Suitable devices are provided at all stages to prevent distortion of the material.

Tread Bracing Components (Breaker or Belts) for Radial or Belted Bias Tires

Tread bracing components raise the modulus of the tread area, thereby maintaining the inflated tire tread profile and reducing tread pattern movement as it contacts the road.

The method of strip cutting rubbered textile belt cords is identical to this used for cutting plies but, in this case, the travelling beam on the bias cutting machine is adjustable for angles of 15° - 25°. The method c converting the single-layer, low-angle cut strips into the form of the fin; belt may vary. A typical construction for textile belted radial-ply tire employs four layers, made from folded strips, adjacent layers being c opposite bias angle. The method of assembly is shown in Fig. 10.4. In practice the two strips are slightly offset to achieve a graduated step-down in thickness at the belt edges, thereby reducing stress concentration and minimizing the development of looseness in service. In the case of steel belted radial-ply tire appropriate cutting equipment is used to cut the calendared material. Two cut layers are used at appropriate bias angle this form the belt the whole may be encompassed by a calendared shoe containing nylon cords at 0° angle.

Insulating Components (Under tread, Breaker Cushion Insulations)

These insulating components are calendared strips of rubber compound usually of 1mm gauge or less. They are located in positions within the structure where additional insulation is required between components to prevent chafing. The compounds are similar to those used for coating the carcass plies.


The tread is the wearing surface of the tyre. It is applied in the raw state as an extruded slab of rubber compound. In cross-section it is substantially rect­angular across the centre portion, tapering down to very fine edges. The thickness must be calculated to accommodate the pattern fragmentation in the tyre mould and to allow an adequate residual thickness beneath the pattern grooves. The tread width is such that the tapered edges extend to a position slightly above the maximum flex zone in the upper sidewall region.

The extruding operation is continuous, and the extrudate is either batched as a continuous length into a hand dispenser, for subsequent cutting to length at the tyre building machine, or pre-cut into individual lengths and stored on flat metal trays in multi-leaf stillages.


The sidewall is an extruded rubber compound layer which serves to protect the carcass structure from weathering and chafing damage. Together with the tread, which it overlaps in the buttress region, it forms the outermost layer of the tire.

As with the tread, the extruding operation is continuous, and sidewalls are normally batched into spools interleaved with a textile or polyethylene lining material.

For conventional diagonal ply and belted bias tires, built on relatively flat drums, frequently a common formulation permits extrusion of tread and sidewalls as one piece. Two separate compounds are used either to achieve performance or for reasons of economy.

Modern dual extruders, feeding through a common Y-box head, produce a combined tread-sidewall unit; by joining the two stocks under high pressure and at high temperature, interface failures are eliminated.


The chafer is a narrow circumferential strip of material which encloses the completed bead area. Its upper edge is located slightly above the rim flange height and extends downwards and around the bead base. This arrangement provides some protection from rim chafing and, in the case of tubeless tires, serves to prevent air leakage cither into the tire or through the tire in the bead area. To meet these conditions, the material used is either a rubber-coated wick-proof cross-woven textile cut at 45O bias or a strip of calendared compound. In the latter case, the strip, of approximately 1mm gauge, is generally fully cured, buffed, and solutioned, prior to assembly into the raw tire. In this way, stock flow during vulcanization is avoided and the retention of an adequate rubber covering over the casing ply edges is assured.

Processing of cured rubber strips is a continuous operation of multi-strip calendering and vulcanizing by drum cure. After surface buffing and solutioning, individually on an ancillary unit, the strips are spooled in continuous lengths suitably interleaved with polyethylene.

Inner Lining

For tubed tires, the inner lining is a thin layer of compound usually calendared direct on to the underside of the first ply after the latter has been joined and batched in continuous lengths. The component serves to insulate fully the tyre cords from the inner tube and thereby prevent tube chafing damage. It also protects the cords from possible degradation due to atmospheric moisture absorption.

In tubeless tires, the inner lining is the air-retaining member and is usually calendared as a two-layer laminate having stepped edges. The overall gauge may be as high as 2-5 mm, and the width must ensure that the edges are overlapped by the inner edges of the chafer. This provides a low per­meability layer from bead tobead.

Clinch Strip

The clinch strip may be considered as an extension to the lower edge of the sidewall, introduced as a further anti-abrasion measure on radial ply tires, which are more subject to rim chafing than the cross ply tyre. It is a narrow extruded strip, about 25 mm wide and tapered at both edges, which is normally hot-assembled to the sidewalls by operating extruders in train.

It should be appreciated that the above elemental breakdown only deals with a comparatively simple passenger car tire construction. Truck tires and allied ranges are far more complex, involving many additional components, inserts, and compounds. Also, it will be obvious that preparation and handling techniques have to be adjusted to deal with the sheer dimensional size and weight of components used in these products. Steel ply radial giant earthmover, and aircraft tires are particular examples.


1. Bias angle or cross ply tyre

In this construction reinforcing cords extend diagonally across the tyre from bead to bead. The bias angle of the cord path to the center line of the tyre is generally in the range of 25 to 40 degrees. The cords run in opposite directions in each successive lyres (or ply) of the reinforcing material, resulting in a criss-cross pattern. This type has been a standard construction for years.

2. Radial tyre

In this construction, the plies of reinforcing cords extend transversely from beads to bead. On top of the plies (under the tread) is an inextensible belt composed of several layers of cords. The belt cords are low angle (10 to 30 degrees) and act to restrict the 90 degree carcass plies .Increased sidewall bulging is characteristic of radial tires.

3. Bias \ Belted tyre

Which consists of a bias angle carcass with a circumferentially restricting belt? In The bias\belted tyre the carcass angle is generally maintained between 25 and 45 degrees and the belt angle between 20 and 35 degrees. In addition, the angle of the belt is about 5 degrees less than the angle of the carcass.



Tire manufacturing includes many stages. All these stages are prone to some kind of defects. Even the smallest defect in any of these stages can have significant effect on performance of a tire.

This project is undertaken to study off centering of breakers that is to determine possible reasons of its occurrence and to suggest methods to improve it. Off centering of breakers can be one of the main reasons for inducing the early failures during service period there by reducing the life of tires.

Off centering of breaker can occur because of the following reasons

1. Incoming material related problems

2. Machine related problems

3. Worker related problems



These are short plies with low EPI (ends per inch) cut at an angle and are positioned centrally between tire casing and tread to strengthen carcass against impact. They also provide cushioning effect and increase the modulus of tread area. They are made by rubberizing dipped fabric on calendar and then cutting them by bias cutting machine. Breakers are used mainly in biased tires where as in radial tires they are replaced by steel belts.

During rotation the carcass transmits all the forces on to the ground through the tread at contact patch. The tread being a rubber mass undergoes considerable deformation while transmitting these forces as well as engaging on the road deformities. This deformation of tread cause excessive stress strain concentration at tread to carcass interface and consequent premature failures. In order to dilute this concentration, a graded structure is opted for biased carcass in which the outer most layer in contact with tread are low modulus suspended plies, or breakers with high gauge of rubber insulation (Low EP (840/2) followed by intermediate layer and real pressure bearing inner plies.

The EPI (ends per inch), i.e. number of cords per unit area is much lower than carcass plies. This helps for rubber compound penetration between the cards which help in achieving better bond between tread and carcass as well as it provides impact resistance.

In general the function of breakers can be summarized as

i) It provides stability to the tread and helps in distributing forces uniformly throughout the tire structure.

ii) Breakers hold the tread firmly to carcass and also help in providing impact resistance to tread region.


Off centering is actually the displacement of breaker from the central position in a band or a tire building drum. This defect can occur mainly during two stages of tyre construction; they are band building and tire building.

Off centering of breakers in tires can lead to;

1) Tread shoulder separation

2) Reduction in tyre life due to early failures.

To study about off centering of breakers mainly we deal with 2 departments

1) Band building department

2) Tire building department

Band building

In band building department the components of carcass, i.e. the inner liner plies and ply squeegees are assembled to form bands. Usually for a truck tire mainly 3 bands are employed.

First band - it consists of the inner liner, plies and ply squeegees. First the inner liner is applied to drum followed by 3 plies with 3 ply squeegees in between.

Second band - It consists of 3 plies with 3 ply squeegees in between

Third band - it consists of 2 plies, 2 ply squeegees and 2 breakers.

Band is usually constructed in a band building machine. Band building machine consists of a metallic drum driven by a shaft, containing a canvas that is held by a tension bar beneath it. During construction of bands the plies are placed in opposite direction. This is same in case of breakers also. The placement of breakers in 3rd band should be in such a way that distance of breaker from both ends of ply should be zero or less than 5. When the difference is more than 5 which is the tolerable value the band is said to be offcentred.

Off centering of breaker in band building machine can occur mainly because of

1. Machine related problems like

a) Canvas shift

b) Tension bar alignment

c) Light setting vibration

2. Material related problems like

a) Variation in width of incoming material

3. Worker related problems like

a) Error in adjustment of light setting

b) Stretching of plies and breaker during band building


Tire Building

In tire building process all the components of a tire are assembled to make a raw tire called green tire. The building machine consists of a metallic drum, which is mounted on a drive shaft. The ends of the drum are flanged to suit the bead configuration of the tire to be built. In all cases the overall diameter of the drum exceeds the nominal tire diameter. This difference is known as drum crown height and varies from tire type & size. Radial ply tire require complex and costlier machinery having inflatable textile reinforced diaphragms, overlying a skeletal metal drum shell, to shape the carcass plies and other components up to the diameter for belt fitting.

In tire building machine there is located a bead carrier ring on either side of the drum. This ring is concentric with the drum and is capable of moving inwardly to provide an interference contact with the drum shoulders and there by transfer and consolidate the tire beads against the partly build casing structure. In the carrier ring frame, there are inbuilt spring steel fingers, which forms a circle turn the plies down the contact shoulder of the drum immediately before the beads make contact. Attach to the building machine base plate and to the rear of the drum are two pneumatically operated component consolidating assemblies each comprising two pairs of shaped disc rollers. The rollers of one assembly are located on either side of the drum and pivot around the tire bead area for the purpose of turning and interlocking various components around the bead. The pair of rollers forming the second assembly traverses laterally, out word from the central line of the drum to consolidate the sidewall elements of to the carcass. In case of ply building system servicer is placed at the rear of the machine. More common is to build bands of plies before building tire. Bands with 3 to for plies are assembled together on band building machine. No of plies in a band depends upon the service requirements. No. of bands in a tire also depends upon the service requirements. The diameter of the band is kept lower than that of the drum.

Drum is collapsed, the two beads are placed on the carrier rings and the drum is expanded. A rubber base adhesive is applied to the drum shoulders. First band is then slipped over the drum under rotation with the help of the stick to apply pressure at the edges. The bead carrier ring assemblies then automatically turn down the ply edges around the drum and consolidate the beads. This is followed by the other bands and the second bead, in between the ply edges are turned around the beads. Then the chafer strips are applied and down with the ply edges. After this tread is applied and consolidated followed by applying of side walls on both sides. Final consolidation is done by traversing rollers. On completion drum is collapsed and green tire is removed from the building machine.

In case of radial ply construction (which differs from biased ply construction in the angle of orientation of chord in the plies) different approaches are followed. Earlier building and shaping operations were carried out on different machines. But in modern industries both the operations are carried out in the same machine.

Offcentring of breaker in tire building can occur mainly because of

1. Error in light setting


Machine Related problems.

1. Canvas Shift

In a band building machine, bands are constructed over an in extensible canvas that holds the tension bar and the drum. Depending upon the nature of bands to constructed different canvas is used. The canvas lies holding the building drum and the tension bar. During band construction first the canvas is inserted over the drum by keeping the tension bar in closed position. After insertion on the drum, the tension bar is lowered; this keeps the canvas held tightly over machine. Now plies are rolled over canvas and then made into a band. For the proper construction of a band it is necessary that the canvas should have the same perimeter in both the side (machine side and operator side). In case there is variation in perimeter in both side (i.e., difference between perimeter in both sides is greater than 10) then canvas shifting will occur. I.e. canvas during construction of band will move from one side to another over the building drum. (That is canvas moves from area having lesser perimeter to be having more perimeters). In such cases when the builder places the breaker on to the drum, over the plies this shifting movement causes breaker to be placed in such way that distance of breaker from ply ends unequal.

When the canvas shifts whole ply which is placed over the canvas also shifts then builder places. The breaker onto the ply according to the light setting which is incorrect then. The result will be huge difference in distance of breaker from both ply ends. The region of canvas with higher perimeter will have distance of breaker from ply ends greater than the other region of canvas with lower perimeter. The ultimate result will be off centering of breaker.

b) Tension bar alignment

Every band building machine consists of a iron bar with a rubberized coating over it placed below the building drum. The main function of tension bar is to hold the canvas in position. The tension bar is usually placed as a cant lever. Now the alignment of tension bar is critical for production of an okay band. The correctly aligned tension bar will have same distance from building drum with canvas in open position that is difference in distance between tension bar and building drum should be zero. If the difference exceeds 10mm then it will put more pressure on 10 the canvas inducing canvas shifting. This will lead to off centering.

c) Light setting vibration

Every band building machine consists of a light setting (which consists two to three laser beams)

Three laser beams are placed with respect to the edge of band building drum

1. First beam for correct placement of plies.

2. Second and third for correct placement of I and II breakers worker places the breakers and plies to form a band based on this light setting if there is vibration in this light setting because of some kind of machine problems then it will induce the worker to make an off band or offcentred band. Since vibration causes variation in distance set on drum.

2. Material related problems

a) Variation in Incoming material

Fort he purpose of making an ok band, it is necessary that the plies and breakers should have some specified dimensions. When plies and breakers are concerned width forms main area of concern. It is based on this width that light setting in done in band building machine. For example is apply is having a width of 845mm, first breaker - 415mm and 2nd breaker 210 mm the light setting is adjusted in such a way that distance of first breaker from ply ends is 317.5mm and that of 2nd breaker is 215mm. But this speficaition work only if width of all these components comes in the tolerable range (ie ±5m). Whenever the width of breakers and plies exceeds more than 5mm, it becomes difficult to centre the breaker correctly on the band building drum.

[Even if builder changes to set the breaker correctly on onside because of incoming material width variation the distance of breaker may very badly on other side, leading to off centering]

The breakers and plies are given a tolerance of ±5mm when the width exceeds 5mm or goes down below 5mm it may lead to off centering. In coming material variation occur mainly due to problems in bias cutting.

3. Worker related problems

i) Error in light setting adjustment

Each band building machine consists of a light setting comprising of three laser beams over the drum. Three laser beams are provided over the drum with respect to drum edges. First beam for placement of ply, 2nd and 3rd for placement of breakers. For the purpose of building a correct band it is necessary that this light setting adjustment is done correctly by the builder. When the builder creates some error in this light setting the result will be variation from specification, which will ultimately lead to an offcentred band.

2) Ply stretch during band building

Since plies and breakers are rubberized fabric they are likely to be deformed when they are excursively stretched when plies or breakers are stretched it will lead to reduction in width of both plies and breakers. When width reduces below a tolerable limit say 5mm, it becomes impossible to centre the breaker on the band building drum. The ultimate result will be correct reference distance on. One side of the band and incorrect distance on other side. (That is huge difference in distance between breakers from ply ends)


In tyre building the only chance of error likely to occur is in light setting.

After bands are made they are inserted on to the tire building drum for making green tire. During insertion of band care should be taken to see that the breaker comes exactly in the centre of the drum i.e., distance of band edges from either side of building drum should be equal. In order to center the band perfectly, light setting is provided at both the ends of the building drum. Light setting consists of a laser beam fitted on to the top of a steel rod placed parallel to axis of building drum. For the perfect centering of band on the tire building drum the edge of band inserted should coincide with the laser beam. As the distance of band edge from light setting increases off centering also increases.




Studies for off centering were carried out on 4 band building machines building the 3rd band.

1) Machine related problems

a) Canvas shift

i) All the machines were examined for any kind of technical defects which could affect off centering.

ii) Perimeter of canvas was taken in both machine side and operator's side. [Dimensions are measured after removing canvas from the band building drum]

iii) Shifting of canvas for 3 revelations of drum are noted. (3 revelations forward and backward)

b) Tension bar alignment

Distance of tension bar form the band building drum is noted with canvas and without canvas. 3 check points are made i.e., perimeter of canvas in operators side, middle and machine side). The distance between drum and tension bar is noted in closed and open position without canvas also.

c) Light setting vibration

i) Light setting is checked continuously after every 3 bands made.

ii) Material related problems

- Breakers and plies from bias cutting departments are continuously checked for width variation.

For every breaker and ply both upper and lower part are examined for width variation. Cut to cut variation is noted.

3. Worker Related issues

a) Light setting variation

Error in Light setting is a worker related issue so every worker is examined for any kind of variation in light setting. So each worker is examined for correct light setting every machine is surveyed for minimum 3 workers.

b) Stretching of plies and breaker closing band building

- The process of band building requires some kind of force to be applied on to the plies and breakers for the purpose of making a band. Plies from conveyer are pulled on to the building drum to form the band. The breakers are also applied in the same way. To see whether stretching has any affect on off centering first points are marked on the ply before it is made into a band and its width is noted. The dimensions are again checked after the ply is made into a band at the same point marked. The same procedure is carried out for breakers also.

Tire building

Light setting validation is done in tyre building section studies conducted include:

Centering of breaker on tyre building drum.


Band building

The following conclusions were made from the study


1) Incoming material width variation

a) Variation in width of incoming ply material were found to be 7mm more than the specified value.

b) Variation in width of incoming 1st breaker was found to be 10 mm more than the specified value. Rare cases recorded shows deviation of 8mm lower than that of specified value.

c) Width of 2nd breaker was found to vary badly when compared to plies and first breaker. The deviation of actual values from the specified values was found to be about 10 mm.

The above mentioned variations were sufficient to cause breaker off centering.

2) Machine related problems

a) Survey was conducted on four band building machines.

Out of four machines two machines showed higher canvas shift of about 12 to 15mm which is very high.

This data pinpoints the role of canvas shift in off centering.

3) Worker related problems

a) Ply stretch during band building

Stretching of plies during band building could cause only around 2mm to 3mm reduction in width which is negligible.

Both first and second breaker width was found to reduce by 2mm to3 mm during band formation

Studies conducted indicate that ply stretching has no significant role in off centering of breakers in band building.

b) Error in light setting

Light setting variation for first and second breakers was checked for 6 operators.

For first breaker, out of 6 operators, 2 to 3 operators were found to vary reference distance by more than 5mm from spec value.

For second breaker 1to 2 operators were found to vary reference distance by about 5mm more than specified value.

The above data clearly indicates the error in light setting which shows that it has a significant role in breaker off centering.

Tire building

Light setting validation was done in tire building section.

Data collected from tire building did not show any kind of variation

From the above data it could be concluded that only source of off centering issue in tire building is off centered bands


The following conclusions were made from the studies conducted


Ø Incoming material variation seemed to be the main material related problem that caused off centering of breakers

Ø Out of all machine related problems canvas shift proved to be the main reason for breaker off centering.

Ø Other machine related issues like light setting vibration and tension bar alignment did not have any effect on off centering.

Ø Main worker related problem that caused offcentering of breakers was the error in light setting

Ø Other worker related issues like stretching of plies during band building did not have any significant effect on off centering.


Ø Data collected from tire building did not show any kind of variation

Ø From the above data it could be concluded that only source of off centering issue in tire building is off centered bands

Ø So the best possible option for improvement of breaker off centering is to reduce the above mentioned problems.

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