Letting Air Out of Their Tires

Nitrogen This is not yet a trend, but Atlas Copco Compressors would like it to become one. The company is encouraging employees at its Hemel Hempstead headquarters in the UK to replace the air in their tires with nitrogen — using, of course, Atlas Copco nitrogen generators. If this sounds like a gimmick, consider: unlike oxygen which gradually seeps through tire walls leading to under inflation, poor vehicle performance, and increased fuel consumption, nitrogen is slower to permeate rubber. It is also inert, halting oxidation and premature tire aging.

Advantages to filling your tires with Nitrogen:

  • Better air pressure retention — Nitrogen doesn’t seep out through the tire walls like Oxygen can, so tires remain fully inflated longer.
  • Enhanced fuel economy — Nitrogen dissipates heat faster than air, and heat causes rolling resistance. "Maintaining tire pressure can boost fuel economy by as much as 6 percent."
  • Longer tread life — Filling your tires with pure Nitrogen makes tires run cooler, which will reduce tire failure. It also prevents oxidation, which can cause tread separation and belt failure. Since Nitrogen doesn’t carry moisture, it won’t cause rust on the inside of rims and valve stems.
  • Slow chemical aging — "Filling a tire with Nitrogen also significantly slows the chemical aging process of the tire’s rubber components."
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