Testing Cord Fabric for Automobile Tires, Akron, Ohio.

We think of automobile tires as "made of rubber." This is partly, but not wholly true. Tires are made of rubber mixed ("compounded") with other substances such as sulphur, clar, zinc oxide, carbon-black (soot from burned gas or oil), and lime, for various purposes. For rubber may be as flexible as a toy balloon or as hard as a solid tire for trucks which carry ten-ton loads.

Cotton cloth, made from long-staple cotton, is also a very important part of a tire. Heavy thread of such cotton are woven into wide sheets of cord fabric such as you see in this view. The workman in the view is inspecting the cotton fabric while it is passing over a glass table that has strong lights underneath it. He is examining the material through a magnifying glass for he must make sure it is perfect.

The cord fabric is ironed between hot rollers to make it ready for "calendering" with rubber. "Calendering" is the process that brings rubber and cotton together in one sheet. A sheet of cotton is run between heavy rollers and the rubber is pressed in between the threads of cotton so that they are like one piece of material. Many layers of such material are used in a tire.

Notice that in this view a workman is doing a very important piece of work that cannot be trusted to a machine. Machines that do wonderful things for us have been invented, but they can never take the place of a person when careful thought and judgement are needed.

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