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Post Info TOPIC: Rubber-Then And Now


Colonel

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Rubber-Then And Now
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This may sound like a strange topic, but I note that most vehicles from the World War One era-not just military-did not have rubber tires.  Also the FT tanks had fan belts which often failed in use.

 

Armor plate manufacturing was still primitive then.  Was that the case with rubber?



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Legend

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The lack of rubber tires was mostly due to the poor characteristics of rubber tires at that time.

Tires were made natural rubber, which is why they were white or yellow, and these had short service lives

and were prone to punctures. Just before WW1 it was found that mixing carbon black into natural rubber

could produce tires which were much more wear resistant and much stronger. However, this technology

did not become universal until after WW1.

Armour plate wasn't primitive in WW1 - thick armour plate on naval ships was a well established technology

but the production of thin armour plate wasn't well developed. The WW2 rolled homogenous armour plate

required arc furnaces to produce the steel - these were a very new technology in WW1.

Regards,

Charlie

 



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Brigadier

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Long Tom wrote:

This may sound like a strange topic, but I note that most vehicles from the World War One era-not just military-did not have rubber tires.  Also the FT tanks had fan belts which often failed in use.

 

Armor plate manufacturing was still primitive then.  Was that the case with rubber?


 I disagree with that, unless you are referring to pneumatic tyres? British, American, most French and German army trucks had solid rubber tyres., although the Germans came up with other alternatives as the war went on.



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Legend

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I grew up in the shadow (metaphorical and often actual) of the Rubber Regenerating Company in Trafford Park. They used carbon black liberally. On "mixing days" it would cover everything, from the kitchen table top to the inside of your nose, in a thin, black film. I sometimes wonder which sort of cancer I'll develop.



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Legend

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Fan belts were not necessarily rubber. I don't know much about the Renault FT but my grandfather made drive belts for machinery etc. He was a weaver.

Gwyn

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Brigadier

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Yes you are right. Fan belts were not made of rubber but short strips of leather linked together with metal pins.



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