Proper tire repair ensures safety.
In this Q&A, Tech International's Technical Trainer, Billy Johnson, will explain why industry-recommended best practices for passenger/light truck tire repair are crucial to tire repair adhesion and safety on the road.
Q: Why is it so important to clean the tire inner liner surface before installing a repair?
A: If a technician does not clean the tire's inner liner surface to remove contaminants, such as silicone mold lubricants, the repair may not adhere properly to the tire, which could lead to repair failure.
It is best to clean a large area of the inner liner around the injury using a rubber cleaner, like TECH's Rub-O-Matic, and a rubber scraper. Spray and scrape the area three times to guarantee a clean surface before buffing. Make sure the repair area stays clean after buffing by using a soft wire brush to remove debris and by vacuuming debris from the area around the buffed surface.
Q: Why does buffing speed matter for tire repairs?
A: A buffing speed beyond 5,000 RPM can scorch the rubber surface of the tire, which will greatly reduce tire repair adhesion. Tech International's research department tested adhesion of repairs buffed at 5,000 RPM and 20,000 RPM and confirmed that using a proper buffing speed (5,000 RPM or less) can increase adhesion by 39 percent.
A low-RPM buffer also improves control of the buffing wheel which allows a technician to achieve a consistent RMA No. 1 or RMA No. 2 textured surface for chemical vulcanizing repairs.
Q: Does it really matter if I use the same manufacturer for my tire repair and cement?
A: Yes. Tire repair manufacturers design their vulcanizing cements to activate the curatives in their repairs, which is what creates a permanent repair. By mixing brands your repair may not cure completely, which can lead to repair failure.
Q: Do I really need to let the vulcanizing fluid sit on the tire before I apply my repair?
A: Yes. Tech International recommends waiting three to five minutes after applying chemical vulcanizing fluid to the buffed surface of the inner liner before applying a repair. Additional drying time is required in cold and humid climates. Tech International's research has shown that repair adhesion can be reduced by 34 percent on average when a repair is placed on wet vulcanizing fluid, so wait those few extra minutes.
Billy Johnson has been a Technical Trainer with Tech International, a global leader in tire repair and wheel service products, for eight years. Johnson holds a Bachelor's degree from Slippery Rock University, is a TIA Certified Commercial Tire Service Instructor and is an Advanced Automotive Tire Service Instructor. To learn more, visit techtirerepairs.com/training.htm.