Fundamentals of composite material technology are applied to the investigation of multi‐ply cord‐reinforced rubber systems as used in pneumatic tires. The stiffness parameters of such multi‐ply systems are determined through the use of the elastic properties of the constituent cord and rubber components. The effects of coupling between the bending and stretching modes of deformation are discussed along with the limitations of present composite material technology as applied to soft rubbery systems. The predicted stiffness parameters are related to tread wear, obstacle envelopment, vibration, and stress analysis of tires.

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