Tread


Tread

The tread of a tire or caterpillar track refers to the rubber on its circumference that makes contact with the road. As tires are used, the tread is worn down limiting their effectiveness in providing traction. A worn tire tread can be replaced using a process known as retreading. The word tread is often used incorrectly to refer to the pattern of grooves cut into the rubber. Those grooves are correctly called the tread pattern, or simply pattern.

Tires

Street tires

The grooves in the rubber are designed to allow water to be expelled from beneath the tire and prevent hydroplaning. The proportion of rubber to air space on the road surface directly affects its traction. Design of tire tread has an impact upon noise generated, especially at freeway speeds. [ [http://www.springerlink.com/content/x1707075n815g604/ C.Michael Hogan, " Analysis of highway noise", Journal of Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, Volume 2, Number 3, Biomedical and Life Sciences and Earth and Environmental Science Issue, Pages 387-392, September, 1973, Springer Verlag, Netherlands ISSN 0049-6979] ] Generally there is a tradeoff of tread friction capability; deeper patterns often enhance safety, but simpler designs are less costly to produce and actually may afford some roadway noise mitigation. Tires intended for dry weather use will be designed with minimal pattern to increase the contact patch. Tires without any tread patterns are known as slicks and are generally used for racing only, since they are quite dangerous if the road surface is wet.

Street tires will also include wear limit indicators in the form of small raised bridges within the grooves. When the tread is worn down enough that the limit indicators make contact with the road, the tire is deemed to be at the end of its service life. Brake pads use similar indicators in the form of notches on their surface that disappear when they are used.

Off-road tires

Off-road tires used in mud or dirt feature individual knob patterns to allow the tire to bite into the surface and lever the sides of the tread to get a better grip. Given the smaller contact patch, these tires tend to wear quickly when used on asphalt.

Mountain bike & motorcycle tires

Mountain bike and some motorcycle tires feature tread patterns similar to off-road tires used on cars and trucks but may sometimes include an unbroken tread that runs along its center. This feature provides better traction and lower noise on asphalt while the bike is vertical while retaining its ability to provide lateral grip when the bike is leaning.

Caterpillar tracks

Caterpillar tracks such as those used on military tanks or construction machines have metal track segments which may be rubber-coated. They usually do not feature tread patterns, because these would offer little additional grip given the weight of the tracked vehicle.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tread — Tread, v. i. [imp. {Trod}; p. p. {Trodden}, {Trod}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Treading}.] [OE. treden, AS. tredan; akin to OFries. treda, OS. tredan, D. & LG. treden, G. treten, OHG. tretan, Icel. tro?a, Sw. tr[*a]da, tr[ a]da, Dan. tr[ae]de, Goth. trudan …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tread — Tread, v. t. 1. To step or walk on. [1913 Webster] Forbid to tread the promised land he saw. Prior. [1913 Webster] Methought she trod the ground with greater grace. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. To beat or press with the feet; as, to tread a path; to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tread — Tread, n. 1. A step or stepping; pressure with the foot; a footstep; as, a nimble tread; a cautious tread. [1913 Webster] She is coming, my own, my sweet; Were it ever so airy a tread, My heart would hear her and beat. Tennyson. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tread — ► VERB (past trod; past part. trodden or trod) 1) walk in a specified way. 2) press down or crush with the feet. 3) walk on or along. ► NOUN 1) a manner or the sound of walking …   English terms dictionary

  • tread — [tred] vt. TROD or (in tread water: see phr. below) treaded, trodden or trod or (in tread water) treaded, treading, trod [ME treden < OE tredan, akin to Ger treten < IE * dreu < base * drā, to run, step > TRAP1] 1. to walk on, in,… …   English World dictionary

  • tread — tread; tread·er; un·tread; …   English syllables

  • tread — [n] walk footstep, footsteps, gait, march, pace, step, stride, trace, track, tramp; concepts 149,284 tread [v] walk; bear down ambulate, crush, foot, hike, hoof, march, oppress, pace, plod, quell, repress, squash, stamp, stamp on, step, step on,… …   New thesaurus

  • tread — index perambulate, step Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • tread on — index mistreat, spurn Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • tread — tread1 [tred] v past tense trod [trɔd US tra:d] past participle trodden [ˈtrɔdn US ˈtra:dn] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(step in/on)¦ 2 tread carefully/warily/cautiously etc 3¦(crush)¦ 4 tread a path 5 tread water 6¦(walk)¦ 7 tread the boards ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [: Old …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tread — [[t]tre̱d[/t]] treads, treading, trod, trodden 1) VERB If you tread on something, you put your foot on it when you are walking or standing. [V on n] Oh, sorry, I didn t mean to tread on your foot... [V on n] I had white rugs on the floor, but… …   English dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.