An ancient tyre model can help identify which parts of a tyre will need repairs when the wheels get too worn, a team of researchers from the University of Reading have found. 

The study was carried out in a bid to discover which parts can be repaired to improve the grip of tyres in the UK.

It found that the most commonly damaged parts were the tread and sidewall, while a tyre can be damaged in a variety of other places, including the outer layer, the inner part and the rim.

It also found that tyre repair work can be performed with little or no risk to the user. 

A tyre is designed to carry and transport the load of the wheels.

The team examined the images of around 20 ancient tyre models from across Europe and China, looking for evidence of how they were made.

It then analysed the information to see which parts needed repair, using the information gleaned from the models.

The results showed that tread was damaged in most cases, and sidewalls were most commonly worn, as were tread and the outer rim.

The research also showed that tyre manufacturing was a common method used in the past.

The tyre makers could have made more use of the information gained to improve their product, and had to have known about the problems caused by the damage caused by wheel wear, Dr Nick Tye, of the university’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Design, told The Daily Telegraph.

He said that in the future, the information could be used to make tyres that would last longer, better and more efficiently.

The tyres were tested in different conditions, and the researchers found that there was a consistent pattern of damage to tread and a lack of sidewall wear. 

“We’ve discovered the tyre is more likely to get damaged than the manufacturer would have us believe,” said Dr Tye.

“The tyre manufacturers are more likely than we would think to have done things differently.”

The research has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

It is likely that there are many more ancient tyre sites around the world, and some of them may be more damaged than others, Dr Tyes said.

 “Our research could help us understand how and why ancient tyres were made and how they survived,” he said.