What Is Sidewall-Venting in Aircraft?

Aircraft tires are built in such a way that allows air to fill  an inner tube which is encased in another few layers of material for protection. As such, trace amounts of gas from the inner tube of a tire may sometimes leak between the layers. These vents are tiny holes which allow only a small amount of air to leak out at a time. To ensure that there is no damage to the tire caused by a buildup of air in places where it should not be, there are various vents in the side of the tire. In this article, we will be discussing more about how sidewall-venting is designed while exploring several other tire safety procedures.

Typical aircraft tires consist of an inner tube and one or more protective casings, including the outermost layer and its side walls. These side walls are usually made of rubber that can effectively protect against damage from UV rays and other potential external contaminants. In addition to providing protection, the side walls also have important specifications about the tire printed on them. Since the rubber used for the side walls is impermeable to air, there are many small holes in the material which allow trapped air to seep out. These holes are usually marked with a green or white dot and must be kept unobstructed. Typically, green dots are used for tubeless tires, while white dots are used for tube-type tires. Any gas trapped in the space between the inner tube and outer protective layer could expand in hotter temperatures and weaken the tire, causing tire failure. Consequently, the sidewall vents are very useful for safeguarding against this issue. 

The sidewall vents of a tire are labeled different for tubeless versus tube-type tires because the tire design affects how air may leak. In a tube-type tire, there is an air-filled inner tube that is separate from the tough rubber casing. In between the inner tube and casing of these tires will be a liner that protects the inner tube from chafing against the rougher outer walls. In tubeless tires, the liner is a layer of low permeability rubber that acts as a built-in tube which keeps gas from leaking. For tubeless tires, the vents must be very carefully placed and of a very small depth, whereas in tube-type tires, there is a lot more space between the inner tube and casing.

Besides damage from gas leaks, there are several other things that could lead to potential tire failure. As such, aside from having safety features installed in aircraft tires, regular tire inspection and maintenance must be conducted. Included in this inspection should be an evaluation of tread wear. Generally, each tire should be replaced when its treads have worn to the base of any groove, or to a minimum depth specified in the aircraft maintenance manual. A tire should also be inspected for cuts and other damages from foreign materials like an embedded nail. In addition, its inflation must be checked at regular intervals. Overinflation accelerates center tread wear, reduces traction, and makes the tread more susceptible to cuts. Conversely, underinflation can result in excessive wear to shoulder treads and sidewalls which ultimately shortens tire life.

In conclusion, to protect from the risk of damage from air leakage and other occurrences, aircraft operators can install safety features like sidewall vents. Additionally, regular inspection and maintenance can also help safeguard aircraft tires and other components. When your business is in need of quality-ensured aircraft tires, tube vents, or other aircraft parts, you can rely on NSN stocks for a wide inventory of components that are new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find. Backed by rapid lead times and a widespread supply network, we are well-equipped to handle all your operational requirements, even for AOG situations.


September 21, 2022

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