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Firestone Tires. Parag Patel Joshua Pun Cory Robinson. Outline. Introduction Tire Production Overview of Tread Separation Problem Legal Matters Conclusion/Questions. Introduction. Charles Goodyear 1800 – 1860 1821: Went into hardware business 1833: Started making rubber goods

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firestone tires

Firestone Tires

Parag Patel

Joshua Pun

Cory Robinson

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

outline
Outline
  • Introduction
  • Tire Production
  • Overview of Tread Separation Problem
  • Legal Matters
  • Conclusion/Questions

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

introduction
Introduction
  • Charles Goodyear 1800 – 1860
    • 1821: Went into hardware business
    • 1833: Started making rubber goods
    • 1834: Failure in first rubber venture
    • 1837: Eliminated some of the rubber defects
    • 1838: Bought patent from partner
    • 1844: Discovered Vulcanization

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

tire production
Tire Production
  • Statistics:

Source: http://www.rubbernews.com/subscriber/charts/global.html

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

raw materials
Raw Materials
  • Fabric(steel, polyester, nylon, etc.)
  • Rubber(synthetic, natural, or blends)
  • Reinforcing Chemicals(silica, resins, etc.)
  • Anti-Degradant(Ozonants, paraffin waxes)
  • Adhesion Promoters(brass, cobalt salts)
  • Curatives(cure accelerators, activators, sulfur)
  • Processing Oils(Oils, Tackifiers, Softeners)

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

processing production
Processing & Production
  • Mix Process Oils, Rubber, Reinforcers, Accelerators, & Anti-Degradants
  • Coatings
    • Fabric
    • Steel Belt
  • Bead

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

processing production con t
Processing & Production (con’t)
  • Components taken to tire machine for assemble
    • Inner liner
    • Ply Fabric (two layers) – possible cause of problem
    • Apexes
    • Chafer Strips
    • Steel Belts
    • Curing
    • Inspection

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

chemistry of tires introduction
Chemistry of Tires - Introduction
  • Overview of Vulcanization Process
  • Description of Brass-on-Wire Adhesion
  • 2nd Major Issue in Faulty Firestone Tires

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

vulcanization
Vulcanization
  • Process by which rubber is chemically crosslinked (e.g. disulfides)
  • Makes material stronger, elastic, resistant to solvents, and moderate heat/cold.
  • Rubber is heated in the presence of sulfur and accelerator.

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

properties
Properties

Source: Mark, James E. Science and Technology of Rubber. Academic: San Diego, CA, 1994

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

vulcanization con t
Vulcanization (con’t)
  • Heat with and without accelerators
    • Without: 5 hrs @ 140 oC / 8 phr sulfur
    • With: 1-3 min @ 140 oC / 0.5 phr sulfur
  • Main Considerations:
    • Size and type of object (thick walled -> longer curing time)
    • Compound vulcanizabliity and flowability
    • Type of vulcanization (mould vs. boiler)
    • Maximum vulcanization temperature of material or system
    • Removal of article from mould (higher temp, more difficult)

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

mechanisms
Mechanisms

Source: Mark, James E. Science and Technology of Rubber. Academic: San Diego, CA, 1994

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

brass on wire adhesion
Brass-on-Wire Adhesion
  • Process by which brass (CuZn) deposited on steel belts
  • Important for proper metal/rubber adhesion
  • Care must be taken to prevent oxidation of both brass and steel

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

brass on wire adhesion16
Brass-on-Wire Adhesion
  • Formation of Copper Sulfide Layer
  • Rubber infiltration into porous CuS layer
  • Prevent ZnS/FeS layers (not porous)

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

faulty tires
Faulty Tires
  • Brass on Wire coatings must be strictly monitored.
  • Coated/Uncoated wire should be kept in environmentally controlled conditions.
  • Free from particulate matter.
  • Employee accusations of improper handling
    • Poor quality control
    • Used oxidized/improperly handled wire

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

cause of problem
Cause of Problem
  • The Ford Motor Company

-size of the Ford Explorer

-recommended tire pressure too low

  • Drivers of the Vehicles

-improper maintenance of tires

-wear and tear

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

legal matters
Legal Matters
  • Both Firestone and Ford are in an ongoing battle with the public
  • Bridgestone/Firestone Position

-taken the responsibility for faulty design

-initiated world wide recall

-offered free replacements

-still believe blame should not wholly be on them

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

legal matters con t
Legal Matters (con’t)
  • Ford Motors Corporation’s Position

-stands by their design of Ford Explorers

-changed recommended tire pressure

  • Plaintiff’s Position

-continue to file lawsuits

-boycott product manufactured by Ford and Firestone

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

conclusions q a
Conclusions & Q/A
  • Firestone liability in poor quality control & tread design
  • Ford maintains 26 psi sufficient, but has changed target to 30-35 psi.
  • Questions

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers

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