You may have heard of people having their tires filled with foam and wondered – can you foam fill your tires? The answer is yes, you can! And in this blog post, we are going to tell you how.
Foam filling your tires comes in a few different variations and it is important to know what the differences are before you attempt to foam fill your tires. So if you are interested in learning more about foam filling your tires, keep reading!
Can You Foam Fill Your Tires?
Yes, filling your tires with foam can provide benefits to your vehicle. Foam filling your own tires is a job that we would recommend your local shop assist you with, as it will require you to remove the tire from the rim to insert the foam and then mount the tire again.
Benefits of Foam Filling your tires
Foam filled tires have been gaining in popularity and many tire manufacturers have recently discovered the benefits of selling tires that are filled with foam.
There are currently 2 different methods of foam filling tires.
The first is where a special layer of polyurethane foam is placed inside the tire.
The second method is where the polyurethane foam is injected into the tire.
Both of these have different uses and benefits. The main benefits include reduced road noise and vibrations inside the cabin, as well as ease of use.
For heavy duty machinery, having foam filled tires helps prevent the tire from being susceptible to punctures and reduce down time to repair any tire related issues from being used on a construction site.
Foam filling your tires for road vehicles
If you are considering foam filling your tires for road vehicles, you will be looking at inserting a layer of polyurethane foam into the tire.
This internal layer of foam has also been called “internal acoustic foam“ as its main benefits include a quieter and more comfortable ride. They achieve this by absorbing vibrations that come from the road.
Manufacturer such as Continental and Pirelli have been using this technology for years in their tires and have seen great success. Their foam filled tires have proven especially popular with electric and hybrid models of cars and now come as standard on new Teslas.
This is because electric and hybrid cars offer a quiet ride due to the fact that they have no engine, and therefore the addition of foam filled tires helps to reduce road noise from the tires intruding into the cabin by up to 10dB. This means that foam filled tires can reduce noise by around 15% on average!
As well as reducing noise, foam filled tires also popular as they do not intrude or impact the vehicles driving performance in any way. This is because the foam filling does not change the tires weight, rolling resistance or contact patch and require no upkeep.
The tire remains a pneumatic tire and the foam is an additional layer that does not interfere with the tires workings.
There are very few downsides to foam filling your tires. The first downside is the small premium you will have to pay to have this done. This is usually around $30-40 extra per tire. However, we believe that the benefits of a quieter and more comfortable ride are well worth it!
And finally there have been occasions where the layer of foam manages to detach itself from the inside of the tire and is able to freely move around inside your tire. However this is extremely rare and only happens if the tire pressure is not maintained or if there are any punctures in the tire.
This is also an easy repair with minimal costs and a mechanic will use glue to stick the foam back in place. The cost for this and re-mounting the tire should come out to around $30 plus taxes.
Foam filling your tires for construction vehicles
If you are looking at foam filling your tires for construction vehicles, you will be looking at the option of injecting polyurethane foam into the tire. This is done through the use of a machine that will inject the foam into the tire.
The main benefit to using foam in construction vehicles is that it helps to prevent punctures. This is different from road going foam filled tires which still remain pneumatic as the tires used on construction sites are completely filled with foam and no air remains inside them.
It also means that the tire is no longer susceptible to blow outs which can be extremely dangerous. Solid rubber tires are also an alternative option to foam filled tires that fulfil the same purpose.
Therefore the foam filled tires of large construction vehicles helps to support the tire and therefore if there is any sharp objects on the ground, even if it does puncture the tire, the tire will not deflate and the vehicle can continue to be driven.
This is of enormous benefit to those working on construction sites as it helps to avoid any downtime and delays that would otherwise be caused by a puncture.
The only downside to construction vehicle foam filled tires is the cost. The machine that is needed to inject the foam into the tire is not cheap and therefore it can be quite an investment to get started.
Additionally, the tires themselves are more expensive than regular pneumatic construction vehicle tires. However, the benefits of having a tire that cannot be punctured min most cases outweigh the cost for many construction companies. This makes them popular with all vehicles on a construction site including skid steer vehicles.
Can road going vehicles tires be filled with foam?
While adding a layer of foam is perfectly safe to add to road going vehicles tires, filling them completely with foam is not recommended or common practice. This is because replacing all the air inside a tire with foam makes the tire extremely hard and therefore reduces the contact patch.
This can have a negative effect on the vehicles handling as well as making the ride much less comfortable. Additionally, the foam filling makes the tire heavier which can have a negative effect on fuel economy and vehicles braking and stopping distances.
For these reasons, it is not recommended to completely foam fill road going tires. This is only reserved for construction vehicles who drive at very slow speeds around a construction site and off the road.
So now you know the 2 main types of foam filled tires and the differences between them. For average citizens, purchasing tires or fitting your tires with an additional layer of foam can be beneficial as it will help to reduce noise and make for a more comfortable ride without compromising drivability.
For those working on construction sites, completely filling tires with foam might be a worthwhile investment as it will help to avoid punctures and flat tires. However, this does come at a cost both financially for the initial investment as well as for the tires themselves.
We hope you enjoyed this article on can you foam fill your tires and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!
Can you put expanding foam in your tires?
While you are able to put expanding foam in your tires, we would not recommend driving on them. This is because road tires are designed to be filled with air and filling them with expanding foam will cause your vehicle to handle and react in an unpredictable and unsafe manner.
Can I line my tires with foam myself?
The polyurethane foam found inside tires is specially designed and cut to a very specific size to ensure that it fits properly and is then able to adhere to the inside of your tire.
While it is possible for you to DIY this, you will still need specialist machinery to mount the tire to your wheel. For this reason, we would still advise having a shop carry out the work for you.