Most drivers or riders will come across dried tyre sealant after a tyre punctures. It’s when the tyre is taken to a professional to repair shop that they will see the extent of the dried sealant.
In this post we will give you a time-tested way to clean dried sealant so that the overall effectiveness of the sealant and tyre does not get compromised in any manner whatsoever.
When is Tyre sealant used?
Having a tyre puncture is a common problem and should you have a flat tyre in the middle of a busy highway it certainly could be a big problem. If you have a puncture repair kit on tyre sealant can then you could get back on your way quickly. They may be your only option as some vehicle may not always have a replacement tyre. In such situations, using a tyre sealant could be one of the best solutions.
During a puncture if sealant is already present in the tyre it will change its consistency and forms a protective layer inside the tyre tread.
If you have a car tyre that is punctured, there is an internal pressure that helps to push the sealant into the cavity created by the puncture. The sealants contain special mica particles and fibres that join together and this result in the formation of a special end-product that bonds to the rubber in the cavity.
Within a few minutes this sealant form a solid rubber plug gets formed in the entire length, breadth and depth of the puncture hole.
Using tyre sealant should only be a temporary repair and the tyre should be inspected for the severity of the damage by a professional tyre fitter as soon as possible. However there are some drivers who believe that this dried sealant could be a superior and stronger way to repair a puncture tyre hole.
Using sealant compares very well with the traditional method of a plug that is inserted from the outer layer of the tyre. When we look at a traditional repair of damaged tyre using a plug, it leads to expansion of the puncture and also leads to the tearing of the rubber bond. Therefore experts and even end-users are of the conclusion that a tyre sealant is a natural way of repairing a tyre. This is because rubber particles, mica and various other fibres have the capacity to closely mimic the rubber that is used in making tyres.
Why Do Tyre Sealants Form A Residue After Drying?
Before sealant dries and forms a solid layer it remains in liquid for. The sealant remains viscous because it has glycol. This is the carrier of fibres, thickeners, cellulose fibres of various compositions and also different types of binding agents. Since it has water based glycol that carries the entire compositions, it remains viscous when it is kept in the container.
However, we also need to have an understanding as to how sealants manage to form a residue after drying. This certainly will help us to find out ways to remove the dried sealant. As mentioned above, glycol is the main substance that helps the entire sealant material to remain viscous and fluid.
However, we need to understand that most tyres that are used for cars and other types of small and big sized vehicles are extremely porous. When you have such porous types of tyres, this could lead to the watery portion of the sealant to evaporate because of external heat and internal heat while the vehicle is moving. This leads to the sealant losing some of its viscosity so it becomes thicker and it also results in some drying of the sealant. Most sealants within tyres will need to be replaced on a periodic basis to ensure they are effective when an puncture occurs. Newer sealant formations have been created that resist this drying and last far longer in liquid form.
Tools And Equipment Needed
You should have some standard equipment:
- Wrenches and locking wheel nut keys for removing the tyre from the vehicle.
- A suitable jack and axle stands to lift and hold the vehicle safely.
- a suitable tool for removing the tire from the rim.
- Masks to protect against small particles of airborne sealant.
- Suitable gloves.
- Repair patch that should be applied to the area that is punctured.
Tips to Remove Dried Tyre Sealant
There are some simple and proven tips and methods that could be used for cleaning dried sealants safely.
- To begin with the valve core has to be removed carefully. This is vital and important because it will help you to empty any remaining air from the tyre.
- The step is to break the beads thoroughly. Then the tyre has to be removed carefully from the rim.
- Once the tyre has been removed out of the rim, you must ensure that it is thoroughly vacuumed. This will help in loosening the sealants that is embedded in the tyre surface.
- Once this has been done, you have to wipe the tyre thoroughly. While doing so, you must be careful to ensure that the insides of the tyre are free from dust, debris and other particles.
- In case of a tubeless tyre the next step is to find the puncture. In most cases it would be because of a nail or other sharp objects. You have to mark the area of the damage in the tyre. Be careful when working around the tyre surface since you may come across the cause of the puncture that could include nails, shrapnel and other such sharp items, that are dangerous and could damage the tyres and also the tubes.
- However, if you have a inner tube you also have to find out the area of the tube that might have been punctured because of the nail and other such objects. You must then use a buff cleaner and ensure that the area is fully buffed. The specific area must again be wiped clean to remove any sand of dust.
- The next step is to use a patch and ensure that it fully covers the entire area of the tyre or tube that is damaged. The patch will seal the damaged portion of the tyre but a portion of the sealant will come out and it could dry up.
- You could use sandpaper to smoothen and remove the dried sealants safely without causing any damage to the repaired patch of tyre and tube.
- Once this has been done the tyre has to be mounted back into the rim. The tyre and the tube (if needed) have to be inflated and the DSP balancing has to be checked thoroughly. The process if it is done in a planned way should not take more than a few minutes.
This article tries to give in brief some idea about sealants for addressing tyre punctures and how the process of fixing can be done efficiently, thoroughly and safely. You can manage with sandpaper alone when it comes to cleaning dried sealant safely.