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Government Considers Mandating Nitrogen-Filled Tyres — Is It Necessary?
DriveSpark | 9th Jul, 2019 06:11 PM

The government is considering making it mandatory for vehicle tyres to be filled with Nitrogen instead of the usual compressed air. According to the government, the use of normal air could lead to tyre-bursts on highways during the excessive summer heat. Tyre bursts are a dangerous situation to handle for any driver.

It will almost always lead to an accident because a tyre burst leaves the driver with no control over the vehicle. There could be multiple causes for a tyre to burst. Sometimes it could be some sharp object cutting through the rubber and causing a big tear. Or it could be that the tyres were not maintained properly.

Excessive speeding over and above the tyre's speed rating too could lead to tyre bursts. Excessively hot road temperatures combined with high speeds too could be another cause. It was this exact reason that led to quite a few accidents on the Yamuna Expressway between Delhi and Agra.

According to a report by TOI, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the cement concrete highway led to 133 deaths in 2016 and 146 in 2017. These are the total number of fatalities and includes the few who were killed due to tyre bursts.

Nitin Gadkari was quoted as saying, "We are considering making it mandatory for tyre manufacturers to mix silicon with rubber in tyres and fill them with nitrogen instead of normal air."

The logic applied by the transport minister is spot on. The normal compressed air available at all fuelling stations across the country also has a large percentage of nitrogen in it. However, the presence of other gases in the compound makes it unstable at high speeds and high temperatures.

Nitrogen is usually suggested for use in those vehicles that are used at high speeds for long durations. However, it can also be very useful when the road surface is at a high temperature. The logical reasoning behind this is that the chemical composition of nitrogen allows it to be more stable at higher temperatures.

Hence, it does not expand as much as normal air does, thereby keeping the tyre inflated without bursting. Nitrogen however is expensive and people would have to shell out a lot more to top up the air in their tyres whereas compressed air is provided free-of-cost at most fuel stations.

Thoughts On Government Considers Making Nitrogen-Filled Tyres Mandatory

The Transport Minister's thoughts had reason to it and nitrogen-filled tyres might just bring about a solution to the hot Yamuna Expressway. In other parts of the country though, it would unnecessarily push up costs for people who want to top up the tyre pressure. The rule, if enforced, should be made mandatory only in hotter parts of the country while the rest should be left to decide for themselves.

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