What Are Pneumatic Tires and How Are They Used?

When choosing wheels for a vehicle, it is important to find the right tool for the job. Because of their excellent shock absorption, pneumatic tires are often your best bet for standing up to the challenge of uneven terrain, making them a dependable choice in many outdoor applications. This blog will discuss the benefits of major types of pneumatic tires and where they are commonly used.

Two Types of Pneumatic Tires: Standard & Solid

A standard pneumatic tire consists of a wheel and a metal hub with a rubber tire mounted to it. The rubber tire is hollow and can be filled with air to reach a certain internal pressure. The air in the rubber tire is kept in an air-tight core, but there may be reinforced metal belting or other material surrounding the apparatus to prevent puncture. To eliminate the risk of losing air pressure, standard pneumatic tires can be filled with foam. Another option may be to fill the tires with pure nitrogen which offers several benefits over compressed air. Compressed air is 78% nitrogen, just under 21 percent oxygen, and the rest is water vapor and CO2. Water inside a tire, whether as a vapor or liquid, causes more pressure changes that are accompanied by temperature swings than dry air does. Moreover, it can also corrode the rim. To combat this, pure nitrogen eliminates moisture and is less likely to migrate through the rubber tire.

Air-filled (standard) pneumatic tires are the most common tire out there, but they are not the only type. Apart from those filled with liquid, foam, or gel, there are also solid rubber tires which are more durable. Solid pneumatic tires have a hard rubber exterior which is thicker than in standard pneumatic tires. Comprising a hollow center, they do not require air, and are puncture proof as a result. Solid pneumatic tires have greater weight capacities and are more durable, but do not roll as smooth and offer far less shock resistance.

Main Benefits of Using Pneumatic Tires

Excellent Shock Absorption: Going over bumps can generate shock to a vehicle and its load, which if not managed correctly, could damage its parts or jostle items inside. Pneumatic tires are excellent shock absorbers which make for a smoother ride.

Good for On-Pavement and Off-Road Applications: In addition to handling shock, pneumatic tires are great at tackling uneven surfaces. They can work well on rocky terrain and are built to resist puncture from objects like screws or glass. This makes them a popular choice for wheelbarrows which regularly traverse bumpy terrain.

Can Reduce Noise Pollution: As a result of their relatively soft rubber exteriors and shock resistance in place, pneumatic tires produce very little noise. They can help foster a better work environment by lessening overall noise pollution in place of harder wheels.

Will Not Damage Flooring: Their shock absorption makes pneumatic tires excellent for outdoors use, but they are also well adapted for indoor environments. The air-filled tires can be relatively light and built with soft rubber to avoid damaging or scratching indoor surfaces.

Limitations to Consider

Harder to Move: Due to their large footprint (the area where the tire touches the surface under it) and deflection of the air-filled tire, the initial push force to get a pneumatic tire moving is higher than that of other tires. The large footprint also makes the wheels harder to swivel.

Air Pressure Must Be Monitored: Pneumatic tires often require more maintenance than  other tires because of the need to monitor their air pressure. Just as with the tires in a bicycle or car, for any application which uses pneumatic tires, you will need to consistently check the air pressure, and adjust it when needed. Keep in mind that temperature can affect air pressure in a tire. Hotter temperatures will cause the air inside tires to expand, whereas colder air will cause them to contract and deflate.


Pneumatic tires are an effective tool across a wide range of applications, including their use on aircraft, and their excellent shock absorption and high level of control makes them an invaluable resource among various aviation sectors. If you are a member of the aviation industry and in the market for pneumatic tires and other aircraft components, then Industrials Unlimited is here to assist you! Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are a leading distributor of aircraft parts with an extensive inventory of over 2 billion parts to suit your needs. Browse our catalog of available parts on our website or send an Instant Request for Quote (RFQ) form today to get a response form our team of experts in less than 15 minutes!


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