Abstract

The scope of this study was twofold: (1) to quantify the contribution nitrogen inflation would have on oxidative aging of tires and (2) measure the improvement nitrogen tire inflation may have on inflation pressure retention. A previously developed tool for diffusion-limited oxidation was used to simulate aging behavior at 25 and 60 °C. Oven-accelerated tire aging (60 °C) data for different inflation media was used for successful validation of the model, and it was shown that aging rates for higher oxygen concentrations tend toward a constant value. For lower temperatures, the use of nitrogen was shown to produce lower oxygen concentration in the wedge and bead regions of the tire geometry considered when compared to air inflation. By using 95% pure nitrogen (that is, the actual nitrogen concentration in the tire cavity), a 25% reduction in aging rate (for the tire wedge) and a 35% reduction in the initial flux of mass out of the tire (a measure of inflation pressure retention) were calculated.

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