Nitrogen in tyres

More and more people are switching to nitrogen instead of air, for their tyres. Everybody seems to be convinced about the benefits of Nitrogen for their tyres. Even a layman may tell u multiple benefits of it. People are so much convinced that they are ready to pay a higher cost for it. In today's article we will look at all the so called  benefits and will try to find out the reality.


Nitrogen in tyres
Air filling in tyre

Benefits of Nitrogen for tyres

People say that filling nitrogen in tyres increase the life of tyres and decreases their maintenance cost. It also improves the stability and enhance the mileage of the vehicle.  Let's look at some common beliefs and try to understand the reality.

Myth no.1: Nitrogen filled tyres do not loose pressure.

It is believed that oxygen molecules being smaller in size diffuse through the rubber and hence the tyre's pressure decreases. But if we fill the tyre with pure nitrogen, the pressure of tyres would not fall since nitrogen molecules can not diffuse through the rubber.

Reality

Let's start with basics. We all know that the air comprises of 78 percent nitrogen 21 precent oxygen and rest other gases are below 1 percent.

Nitrogen in tyres

The pure nitrogen which we fill in our tyres is only 95% pure. Suppose we fill it in our tyres which is already containing some amount of air. It means the Nitrogen gets further diluted. So if air itself is containing 78 percent of nitrogen that what is need of getting cheated in name pure nitrogen.

Secondly the size of N2 molecule is about 300 picometers and that of O2 molecules is 292 picometers. The difference is hardly of 8 picometers which is not that much significant so as to produce drastic effects. Also the loss of pressure may also be caused due to leakage from air filling valves and this is completely independent of molecular size.

With many experiments it has been proven that  the rate of pressure drop in nitrogen filled tyres is relatively a bit slower than the air filled tyres. But the difference between the both is no that significant that we must pay extra money for nitrogen. 

Myth no2: some gases and water vapour present in air are corrosive in nature.

It is a popular belief that the water vapour and other gases like SO2 present in air are corrosive in nature and may corrode the surface of the inner rim . This will make the rim weak and prone to damage.

Reality

If those gases can corrode the inner surface, than why don't they corrode the outer surface of rim? The outer surface of rim is always in contact with air and do  not get corroded easily. This is because the rim is painted or coated with some corrosion resistant material.

Myth no 3: Improved  mileage and handling

This is weird but I have seen many people saying that nitrogen tyres improve the handling of vehicle and thus improve the mileage. 

Reality

The tyres do not discriminate between the type of gas present inside them. What matters is the pressure. A tyre inflated properly performs exactly the same irrespective of gas present inside it. 
It is said that the pressure of air may change abruptly with temperature. This happens due to the presence of water vapour in air. Those vapors may condense or freeze causing abrupt pressure changes. But what is the percentage of water vapour in air? It is just around 2-3 % and with such a small percentage it can not change the tyre pressure abruptly. Again it is true that nitrogen's  pressure do not change abruptly with temperature. But to get benefit from this property of nitrogen, we must use pure nitrogen, which is actually very difficult to obtain. The air itself contains 78% of nitrogen which means that the air is nothing but nitrogen. 

Friends with this article I tried to break down some myths regarding filling of nitrogen in tyres. I hope this information will be helpful for you. 

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