Tire sealants are a great way to protect your truck tires, especially when you ride your trucks hard and often over rough terrain with heavy loads. However, some people have concerns that the dangers outweigh the benefits of tire sealant. In particular, some people believe that if you use tire repair sealant, chamber fires can occur during retreading.
What is the truth of the matter? Is truck tire sealant safe? Is the risk worth reaping the potential tire sealant benefits?
Do Tire Sealants Cause Fires?
During retreading of tires, the tire is heated to extremely high temperatures in a pressure chamber, over 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people believe that if you use tire sealant on your tires, the remaining sealant will superheat and explode while inside the pressure chamber. There is no basis to this fear. The truth is that virtually all of the sealant is cleaned off the tire before it reaches the chamber stage. If the retreader allowed the sealant to remain in place, several steps in the retreading process simply would not work.
Even if a full amount of sealant made it into the pressure chamber, it would not combust under normal circumstances. While some inferior sealants contain glycol, it cannot combust without oxygen. They would first have to evaporate into a vapor and then catch fire. The boiling point of these glycols is well over 350 degrees Fahrenheit under normal atmospheric pressure, and even higher under the pressure conditions of the chamber, so there is no way it can create the vapor that could combust.
For glycol to ignite at the temperatures in the pressure chamber would require an outside ignition source, and no such source exists as part of the regular retreading procedure.
IMI takes a step further and completely removes all glycol from their line of sealants. Throughout history, IMI has set out to make innovate decisions from the very beginning; and IMI accomplished this with sealants that are entirely biodegradable and environmentally-friendly, removing any possibility of causing any harm to the tire casing or those who come in contact with it.
So why are sealants often targeted as the culprit for these chamber fires?
When an after-market product is used in a truck tire, regardless of its culpability it is often blamed for any unforeseen failures. However, according to Tire Business, “forensic evidence shows that random, potentially catastrophic curing chamber fires can be triggered by improper use of prohibited flammable truck tire demounting fluids.” OSHA has investigated these dangerous incidents and found the retreading locations using flammable solvents and lubricants, and according to OSHA CFR 1910.177, those flammable lubricants used on the bead and wheel mating surfaces is strictly prohibited.
So, while tires in the retreading process may have once had sealant in them, it has not once been the cause of these chamber fires.
What Are the Benefits of Tire Sealant?
Since there is minimal to no risk, any benefits of tire sealant will make using it worthwhile — and there are many. STS Tire Sealant from IMI immediately and permanently repairs punctures to your tire from the inside, preventing your tires from going flat or blowing out on the road, and keeping your drivers on the road and safer. STS Tire Sealant also reduces tire wear, offers seven times more corrosion resistance than tires without tire sealant, prevents tire dry rot and inner tire cracking, and is safe for the environment. When your trucks have STS Tire Sealant, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing your trucks have protection from getting derailed by nails, glass, rocks, or other debris that could damage truck tires.
To find out more about STS Tire Sealant and how we can help keep your trucks on the road and your drivers safer, get in touch with us today.