When it comes to the RC hobby, using the right tires is key to maximizing efficiency.
For this reason, every RC hobbyist needs to know what RC tires are made of and how they are made to determine what best works for them.
Technically, RC tires are made through a molding process; but it’s more than the surface, meaning you may attach to the term “molding.”
Whether you are a newbie or advanced racer, this article covers all you need to know about how RC tires are made.
How are RC tires made
RC tires are made by liquifying plastic and allowing them to flow into the mold cavity to form their shapes.
Manufacturers set up the molding machine (which usually comes in two sides). Then, they spray the mold release, a chemical coating to prevent the tire material from bonding on the mold. After this, they weigh the tire material (rubber) before placing them into the mold.
Each half of the molding machine is then placed together. This is followed by the heating process, which liquefies the material. Once the healing process is complete, the liquefied rubber flows into the mold cavity to cool and solidify to form the tire.
This cycle usually takes between 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the volume of the tire. Once the melted rubber cools and includes, the tires are taken out of the mold cavity.
Understanding the shape and size doesn’t matter when making RC tires. What matters is the piece of rubber fits in the mold. The only factors that play an essential role in making RC cars are the weight and volume of the tires. The weight affects the efficiency of the tire, while the volume determines how many RC tires are produced at once. Typically, the molding machine has several cavities that enable manufacturers to make 2 to 4 tires per cycle.
What RC wheels and tires are made from
RC tires are made from rubber, but that’s not all!
The wheel rims are made with plastic to fold and fit the wheel.
On the other hand, the tires are made with high-quality rubber since the tires are responsible for grip and speed on different terrains. There’s also the foam insert. While most RC tires are made using air inserts, the foam inserts add grip to the RC car tires.
different Materials of RC cars’ tires
Rubber is the main material used in making RC car tires. However, two different compounds make the tires; rubber and carbon.
Sometimes, these materials can be extremely hard or soft depending on the terrain you wish to use them and the nature of their use.
Are all types of RC tires made the same
RC car tires are made using the molding process. However, manufacturers typically consider the scale of each vehicle before making them. Why? The scale of your RC car will determine how fast the RC car runs and if the RC car tire will easily handle any surface.
For example, 1/10 RC buggy has wheels ranging 2.2 inches. While the 1/10 short course RC wheels have a unique measurement with the front tire hole size being 2.2” and the rear, 3.0.”
How long does it take to make an RC tire
Making an RC car tire will usually take between 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how many tires you produce. Typically, manufacturing time for two to four tires will range between 3 to 6 minutes.
Are RC tires made the same way as ‘real car’ tires
RC car tires are not made the same as real car tires.
While real car tires use the same rubber and carbon material in the manufacturing process, their manufacturing process differs.
Real car tires are made by mixing liquid latex from natural rubber with acids. This allows them to solidify. On the other hand, the liquefied rubber of RC tires is left to cool and harden.
Which RC tires are made in the states
Some RC car tires are manufactured in the US.
One of such tires is the Pro-Line Racing tires. Pro-Line racing tires are built with the highest quality rubber materials and the superior performance of the RC tires in mind. So, whether you want to buy an RC airplane, car, truck, helicopter, or boat tire in the US, you can get a range of selections of RC vehicle tires for your preference.
There’s also the Lugz Racing tires, a new RC tire manufacturer in the United States offering tires for various scales of your RC vehicle.
Do RC tires come from the factory with foam
RC foam inserts play a vital role in how the RC tires perform since it helps maintain the tire’s shape while ensuring they function well on the track. For this reason, RC tires will often come from the factory with foams. Manufacturers make sure to bond the foam material to the inner linen of your new tire.
The downside of this foam is that it often won’t last long, especially when the RC vehicle is used for serious racing.
What type of foam material are foam tires made from
Generally, the foam material used to make foam tires is called Neoprene.
However, many manufacturers combine different compounds to create their unique foam tires. For instance, some use only natural rubber, while others use synthetic rubbers. How you use these different compounds will either make the foam tire flexible or hard.
Can you 3D print an RC tire
Absolutely! For years, 3D printing has created different RC car tire prototypes. To 3D print on an RC car tire, some materials you will need include:
- 3D printers, preferably the FDM printer, are compatible with almost every file. Another type of 3D printer to consider is the resin printer.
- 3D printable files with designs you wish to customize
- TPU or TPE filament materials
Out of all these materials, the essential item to consider when printing an RC tire is the filament material. Why? The filament enhances the recycled rubber performance by optimizing its wear resistance and elasticity.
How to Make Home-Made RC tires
Yes, it’s possible to make RC rubber tires at home. To make an RC rubber tire, you need to make the wheel rims first. Materials will include 2″ PVC Pipe and PVC Sheet.
- Get a 2″ PVC Pipe and PVC pipe, then measure out the size of tire you want for your RC vehicle and cut.
- Drill a hole in the PVC sheet
- Get a bicycle bell with a screw, insert the PVC sheet in the screw, and tighten with a nut.
- Place the PVC pipe over the PVC sheet and glue.
Once you’re done creating your wheel rims, the next thing to do is create the tires. If you own an RC truck, three materials you will need to make RC truck tires at home include 2″ PVC Pipe, PVC Sheet, Rubber Slippers, Nuts, Bolts, pocket knife, scissors, bicycle tires.
- To start with, draw two circles on your rubber slippers and cut out the shapes.
- Drill a hole at the center of both cutout shapes
- Glue the two rubber circles together
- Insert the 2″ PVC Pipe in the PVC sheet with a nut and bolt on the edge. Then, place this combination in the hole you drilled. The pipe will pop out at the other end of the rubber.
- Repeat the same method of inserting the PVC sheet, nut, and bolt to prevent the pipe falling out.
- Screw and smoothen the edges of the rubber
- While you smoothen the outer edges, take a pocket knife and claw around the PVC sheet to get a bigger inner circle,
- Smoothen inner circle edges again.
- Glue the wheel rim into the inner circle
- Cut out the bicycle tires and glue them on the surface of the rubber.
The Bottom Line
RC car tires are responsible for the grip and speed of your RC cars; hence whether you’re a beginner or seasoned racer, you need to know how they are made. Technically, RC tires are made by liquifying rubber and allowing it to form into the mold cavity. When these tires form, manufacturers also insert a foam material to help solidify their shape. While manufacturing RC tires can be as expensive as producing RC cars, the good news is that there’s always a DIY route you can use to make your RC tires.