Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pros and Cons of Nitrogen Gas for Tyres

Unless you have been living in a cave for the past few years, you would have heard about nitrogen gas for tyres. Here is more information about the same…
Pros:
  • Nitrogen reduces the running temperature of the tyre. The moisture content of nitrogen leads to a cooler running tyre, which is advantageous when the car or bike is operating at its maximum load and speed capacity.
  • Nitrogen in tyres improves the ride quality. That gas is very slightly lighter than air and thus, benefits the tires in terms of un-sprung weight.
  • It is assumed that Nitrogen increases tyre life. It reduces the operating temperature during times of load and speed and thus, enhances the life of a tyre.
  • It is believed that nitrogen keeps tyre pressures more constant. The gas is assumed to provide more stable pressure range in connection to the tyre temperature. However, again, the factor is applicable in times of heavy load/high-speed conditions.
  • Tyres are susceptible to loss of pressure as a result of being porous in nature. Due to its chemical structure, Nitrogen leak out slowly as compared to compressed air. Therefore, it slows the rate of pressure loss.
  • Oxygen reacts with the tyre and rim materials causing oxidation or the rust formation in the metal parts. Nitrogen, being an inert gas, does not react with the tyre and rim materials.
Cons:
  • Inflating tires with Nitrogen is quite costly.
  • Filling tyres with nitrogen requires more maintenance as compared to compressed gas.
  • The availability factor is the biggest disadvantage of inflating tyres with nitrogen, as the gas is not readily available. It is usually found only with specialist tyre dealers.
  • Generally it is not that much advantageous in case of commuter bikes. Moreover 78% of air is itself nitrogen. It is advantageous only in case of Formula cars, High speed racing cars & motorcycles & High load carriage vehicle.

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