From Tire Review
Tire sidewalls could take on a whole new look thanks to a new invention by Bridgestone Corp.
The tiremaker has developed a “new printing technology for tires” that will help reduce overall tire weight while allowing designers to be more creative in their sidewall designs. It plans to “quickly bring this tire printing technology to market.”
Bridgestone’s tire printing technology consists of base layer, specially developed color inks and a final exterior layer to protect the lettering from damage. The base layer includes compounds that prevent the ink from discoloring, Bridgestone said.
Bridgestone said it would explore ways to employ the new tire printing technology. “As an example, original customer designs or photographs could be printed on tire sidewalls and later removed or changed if a customer chooses.”
Current raised white or colored letter technology consists of a white/colored rubber strip built into the sidewall of a tire, and coated with a thin layer of protective black rubber that is later ground off in finishing.
“This process requires the use of large amounts of white rubber to prevent discoloration and to also maintain durability,” Bridgestone said. “This conventional manufacturing process can also add additional weight to the tire.”