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There are a variety of failure modes for automobile tires, such as bead failure, impact failures, defective manufacturer, improper installation, wear out, and under-inflation. The failure mode from under-inflation can be a result of tire penetration by a foreign object.

Figure 1 is a drawing of a typical automotive tire. Foreign object penetration typically occurs in the crown area of the tire, through the tread. However, it is not unheard of to discover a foreign object lodged in the upper sidewall or shoulder area. The penetrating object may cause under-inflation of the tire, but not always. If the penetrating object self seals, little or no air may escape from the tire. If air does escape such that the tire operates under-inflated, then failures can occur at the highly stressed areas as a result of over-flex of the rubber.

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