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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 l.jpg

Firestone Tires

Parag Patel

Joshua Pun

Cory Robinson

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers


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Outline

  • Introduction

  • Tire Production

  • Overview of Tread Separation Problem

  • Legal Matters

  • Conclusion/Questions

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers


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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


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Tire Production

  • Statistics:

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

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers


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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


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Processing & Production

  • Mix Process Oils, Rubber, Reinforcers, Accelerators, & Anti-Degradants

  • Coatings

    • Fabric

    • Steel Belt

  • Bead

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers



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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



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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


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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


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Properties

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

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers


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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


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Mechanisms

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

CE 435 -- Intoduction to Polymers


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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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