We were rolling through our meeting today as Chris Napier, who recently retired from ExxonMobil as Senior Application Development Engineer. Napier gave a great presentation on the history of rubber and synthetic rubber production in Baytown dating back to the 1940's, when there was a natural rubber shortage following the war. Moving forward, the vast research and engineering completed by ExxonMobil was, and still is, used in the production of tires of all kinds, from manufacturers both domestic and international.
Napier put much of the information into layman's terms using both a breakdown of details in a tire's serial number (see charts below) and cross sections of several different types of tires. The serial number system allows users to find not only the common numbers like width, height and diameter, but also manufacture date, safety code, load index, speed symbol, tire ply composition and even where it was made.
It's amazing to think of all the data you are getting in addition to the tire during a purchase. And to think, the roots for much of that started right here in Baytown!