Steel cord is a fine strand of several steel wires, which are made of superior, high-carbon steel with the surface plated with brass. Steel cords are primarily applied in car tires, light truck tires, cargo truck tires, heavy equipment tires, plane tires, and other rubber framework materials. Adhesion of a steel cord to rubber is possible through brass coating of the wire, coating that reacts chemically with sulfur of the tire rubber. Modern tire manufacturing technology involves the use of tire in the form of thin wires as a reinforcement in the areas of extreme stress. The use of steel cords in tires allows higher rubber penetration and adhesion as well as high resistance and durability that facilitates a smooth and safer ride. Steel cords reduce the tire weight and rolling resistance and offer long tire life and improved adhesion at a low cost. Steel cord is a major component used for reinforcing a radial tire and it has excellent fatigue resistance. It provides customers with tires that are safer, easier to maintain, and long-lasting. It also offers reduced fuel consumption. Steel cords are stronger than fiber materials. They have excellent resistance to heat and fatigue and are without any contraction. Steel cords is a tire reinforcement material with the maximum growth rate. Steel cords are also used in the manufacture of conveyor belts to impart properties such as resistance to rotting and corrosion, low elongation, thermal stability, and chemical resistance. With the use of steel cords, conveyor belts are enabled to meet the fire-protection and electrostatic safety requirements. Steel cord belts are designed for mining and the high-capacity applications which are subjected to high belt tension. The resulting combination of high-strength and outstanding flexibility prolongs the life of belts.
Amidst growing safety concerns and rising demand from the automotive industry, the global market for steel cords is witnessing growth. New technologies developed in the automotive industry are seeking the attention of industry leaders that aim to offer an experience of safe and comfortable driving to their customers. Growth of the steel cords market is directly related to growth of the tire industry. The tire industry has been growing tremendously for the last decade, both in terms of volume and revenue, due to the increase in demand for tires. This trend is likely to continue in the near future as well. The steel cord industry in Asia is expected to witness growth on account of growing tire industry. The tire industry in the U.S. and Europe is projected to register a growth rate below the global average, which is boosted by rubber requirements in China. Latin America and the Middle East are also anticipated to witness the increase in demand for steel cord, due to risen automotive production in the two regions.
With the current research and development activities, the industry is expected to experience the introduction of new designs and processes, which would ensure enhanced performance of tires. Efforts are focused not only on minimizing the rolling friction but also on ensuring that the tire holds a firm grip on the ground. Incidences of road accidents too play an important role in growth of the steel cords market. Leading tire manufacturers are looking for design solutions to meet the safety and comfort requirements of vehicles. Technologies such as flat run tires, eco tires, and nitrogen tires are further driving the steel cords market, due to the demand for specialized materials for strengthening the tires and their sidewalls.
Tire manufacturers that are potential users of tire reinforcement materials such as steel cords include Goodyear, Dunlop, and Bridgestone. Manufacturers for tire reinforcement materials include Bekaert, DuPont, Hyosung, and Kordsa Global.
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