Nitrogen for Tires -- A Good Idea?
Years ago, nitrogen came into use for aircraft tires, racing tires and other applications where a consistent level of inflation is extremely important. But what are the advantages of using nitrogen?
Our atmosphere is about 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen, with the rest composed of CO2, water vapor and trace amounts of noble gasses, like neon and argon. Water vapor inside of tires is a bad thing. Water vapor will result in bigger changes in pressure as tires heat up or cool down and will promote corrosion on steel or alloy rims. Water vapor can also be pretty harmful to a tire’s steel components, including the belts, sidewall reinforcement, and bead wires.
Nitrogen is a more “stable” gas. Its molecules are less likely to migrate through rubber and its inflation levels are going to stay more consistent across a range of temperatures. It’s also a “dry gas” that won’t support an accumulation of moisture and vapor at all.
Next time you go to fill a tire, depress the tire chuck’s valve with your thumb. Chances are your thumb will get a little damp from water vapor in the lines. A tank that uses pure nitrogen will be completely devoid of water vapor. These setups separate oxygen from nitrogen in the shop air compressor’s reservoir tank, straining out any water vapor in the process. Tires are then put through several purge/refill cycles to ensure they are completely drained of air and water vapor.
In the long run, tires that are filled with nitrogen will deliver savings in terms of fuel economy and tire maintenance. They’ll also be free of any corrosion on the rims, with no water vapor trapped inside the tires. It may seem like a little thing, but in the end all these little things add up!
At Pueblo Tires and Service, we’ve got the equipment for nitrogen fills for tires. You don’t have to be a street racer, fly a plane or drive a tractor to see the benefits of nitrogen fills for your tires – make an appointment with us and let us switch your tires over to pure nitrogen!