Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where did it all go?

Every wonder where all the rubber goes that wears off of the car tires?

Let’s use some conservative numbers here.

We’ll consider Highway 2 here in Alberta.

Using the stats provided from the province for 2007, there is an average of 91 million kilometers driven over the course of a year by all vehicles traveling various distances between Calgary and Edmonton. Don’t believe me? Here, you figure it out. http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/Content/docType181/production/vc2007.pdf

The average tire, (conservative at that) is a 16 inch tire that has 8.5 inches of tread. That means that if a tire looses .5 inches before it’s no longer useful, every tire would expel 335 cubic square inches of rubber. That’s also assuming that you could condense it all back into a hard form, but in reality, it’s now dust and could never be packed that tight. But for argument sake, let’s leave it as 335 cubic square inches per tire.

The average tire lasts about 70,000 kilometers.

So 91 million kilometers divided by 70,000 = 1300 sets of tires were wore out.

Every vehicle has at least 4 tires. We should be averaging more, but we will leave it at 4 to stay conservative.

So 1300 times 4 tires times 335 cubic square inches equals 1,742,000 cubic square inches or 1008 cubic square feet of rubber.

In a single year.

That’s a solid block of rubber that is about 10 feet by 10 feet by 10 feet. This is assuming it’s a solid mass. But it’s not. It all came off as dust so it would take up even more space. More than likely double.

Where is it!?

Where was it for 2007, and where did it go for 2008? Where did it go for all those prior years?

I’m thinking we should start seeing it somewhere.

And every year it just keeps getting worse.

So if we don’t see it in the ditches then maybe its floating around in the air.

Next time I drive somewhere I’m holding my breath till I get there! How about you?


5 for 18

1 comment:

  1. Very funny.:)

    But here's the question - you know the saying that this is "where the rubber meets the road?" Well, is it possible that the friction of the tires on the road is actually adhering the rubber to the road? Maybe those 91 million kilometers travelled are really coating our roads with layers of rubber. Nahhh, can't be that - that would cushion our roads and I've driven them recently!



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