Tyre Talk column: Ray roots out the colour of rubber

Ray Pantling, owner of Tyres Direct, reveals the natural colour of rubber in his latest column after taking a trip to a rubber tree plantation in Vietnam.

What colour is rubber? Black?

Wrong! It’s actually white in its natural form. Manufacturers of tyres add carbon black to rubber to increase various qualities that prolong the life of a tyre.

The photos here are of a rubber tree plantation I visited in Vietnam on a Tyres Direct tyre learning mission, 72km north-west of Saigon. And as you can see, the rubber in the tree is most definitely white!

While there, I was informed the plantation was an important source of revenue for the South Vietnamese government and that the Michelin company paid off the Viet Cong in order to keep the plantation operating during the war against the USA.

US forces were obliged to compensate Michelin for damage caused to the rubber trees during the Vietnam war.

Every year in the USA, nearly 50 million pounds of rubber is worn off tyres every single week – that’s enough to make 3.25 million new tyres.

And a final fact to end with… did you know that roads have been made from your old used tyres since the 1960s?

Until next time, tyre fans!

This column was published in the February 2018 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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