Design and production of tyres - The 6 functions of a tyre

The 6 functions of a tyre

Tyres and technology

Tyres are essential components for your safety. The only point of contact with the ground, it must allow for acceleration, cornering and braking whatever the road, driving or weather conditions. All while giving drivers and their passengers a feeling of comfort.

The 6 essential functions of a tyre A tyre fulfills six essential functions for your safety and well-being: carry; drive; guide; transmit; absorb; last. - Copyright © :

The tyre fulfills six essential functions for your safety and well-being: 


1. Carrying

 A tyre carries more than 50 times its own weight and is subject to more than 20 million deformations over its lifetime. It must also withstand considerable load transfers during both acceleration and braking.


2. Driving

 A tyre must retain its performances on all sorts of road surfaces and at temperatures that can vary from -50°C to +50°C. For reasons of efficiency and environmental protection, it must also offer low rolling resistance.


3. Guiding

 The tyre must provide stability at all times on the vehicle's trajectory. This means that it must withstand the transversal forces without drift. Among other things, this property depends on the correct choice of pressure between the front and rear axles.


4. Transmitting

 Straight line, corner, acceleration, braking… The tyre transmits the energy from the engine to the ground at all times. It must respond to the many demands of the drive, the road and the environment. It provides longitudinal and transversal efforts that can reach its own load on a surface hardly bigger than a hand.


5. Absorbing

 The tyre absorbs obstacles and dampens irregularities in the road, thus ensuring the comfort of drivers and their passengers and the longevity of the vehicle. Its main attribute is its flexibility, especially in the vertical direction.


6. Lasting

 The lifespan of a tyre depends on the conditions of use (load, speed, condition of the road surface, condition of the vehicle, driving style, etc.) and on the quality of the contact with the ground. Pressure therefore plays a major role in this field. It affects:

  • the size and shape of the contact patch;
  • the distribution of the stresses on the various points of the tyre in contact with the ground.


Source: Michelin film "The functions of the tire"