Why is nitrogen better than air for inflating tyres?
Air is made up of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 1% of other gases. Oxygen is made up of very small molecules which can permeate and escape through the sidewall of a tyre over time. Pure Nitrogen molecules are larger and cannot permeate or escape through the tyre sidewall as easily. A tyre inflated with pure Nitrogen keeps the tyre pressure more consistent and stable for up to 3 to 4 times longer than normal air.
Oxygen is a very unstable gas which contains a high level of moisture. When the temperature of a tyre increases, the Oxygen causes the water vapour to react and expand the tyre. Nitrogen is inert and contains no water vapour which prevents this reaction keeping the tyre pressure consistent and stable in running. This also ensures that the correct amount of rubber is in contact with the road at all times giving better handling, braking and steering.
Oxidisation – build up
Oxygen found in normal air contains a high level of water vapour. This causes ‘oxidisation’ or rusting which begins to deteriorate the rubber as it begins to lose its elasticity and strength. This increases the inner rusting of alloy wheels affecting the tyre structure and ultimately the tyre’s performance.