Contrary to conventional methods like high pressure steam or hot water systems, high-purity nitrogen–steam systems can improve tire quality and allow optimization of the cure cycle by increasing pressure without extreme temperatures. With these systems, steam provides the heat and nitrogen provides the pressure for the curing process.
Nitrogen–steam curing processes use low-pressure nitrogen or steam to inflate the bladder and shape the tire after it’s placed in the mold. Subsequently, high-pressure steam flows into the tire bladder and around the outside of the mold to provide the necessary heat for vulcanization. The steam in the bladder is then followed by high-pressure nitrogen to raise the bladder pressure for the remainder of the curing time. Finally, the pressure on the tire bladder is released, and the tire is removed from the mold.
By using high-purity nitrogen, you can maintain a low oxygen content in the tire bladder, which can extend the bladder’s life and lower your costs.