Tribology Of Wheels And Tyres Executive Essay

Tribology has been there because the beginning of saved record. Tribology is the word basically derived from Greek in which tribos means rubbing. From this we recognize that "Tribology is the study of interacting surfaces and of related subjects and practices". The three factors that are believed to be always a major element in tribology are friction, wear and lubrication. Friction is defined as the opposite force created when two surfaces are in contact. Friction can cause damage to the parts in connections because of the heat generation which is examined using tribology. Wear is thought as the irregularities triggered in a surface because of the external factors. Owning a machine with worn parts can decrease the life of the device. Lubrication is thought as the viscous liquid, solid or gas applied between two floors in contact to lessen the friction and wear.

A wheel is a circular component that is intended to rotate on an axial bearing. They are mainly used in transfer applications effectively as means to move an object from one location to another by using an external power. Wheels are widely used together with axles with any one of the components allowed to rotate. A wheel doesn't stand by itself. They are really constructed using the following parts.

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Figure 1 - A Steering wheel and Tyre over a BMW M3 Sedan

From these physique, we can observe the following parts of a wheel

Rim- Outer circumference of the wheel, holding the tyre.

Hub - Centre of the steering wheel where the spokes meet.

Spokes- The rods which branch out from the hub joining the hub with the rim.

Tyre - Round shaped housing made of rubber covering the rim of the wheel.

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Figure 2 - An automobile tyre

The most important and important part of any wheel is a tyre (as referred in UK). So the tyre helps to keep the wheel in touch with the ground whilst enabling easy drive and better vehicle performance by absorbing the shocks and padding the automobile. A tyre works as a wheel only after its fixed on the rim and inflated which means tyre-wheel assembly is essential in the vehicle performance. It also permits the motion the vehicle with a minimum frictional push and distributes vehicle weight over a considerable area of contact between your tyre and the street surface.

A tyre is also made of different components that happen to be shown in the body below.



Body plies




Figure 3 - Parts of a Tyre

Beads are jewelry of steel wire in silicone at the inner advantage of the tyre.

Body plies are made up of fabric and cords covered round the beads and stretching over the within of the tyre below the rubber surface.

Tread is the ridged surface that is in contact with road.

Sidewall is the part of the tyre from the beads to the tread.

Belts run around the tyre below the tread to enhance both body plies and tread.

Liner is a thin layer of silicone bonded to the interior surface of the tyre.

Tribological Audit:

In analysing any tribological problem, a general and systematic methodology should be studied in deciding tribological factors that may be important to this situation thus pushing a problem focused approach. The body below shows the major tribological factors that are considered.

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Figure 3- Classification of Tribological Factors

Materials used to make for making Tires and Tyres:

Materials are picked from a tribological perspective as shown below. Let's see how the materials used have an impact on the entire tribological performance on rims and tyres.

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Figure 4: Classification of Materials

Tyres are usually made using natural silicone or neoprene (man-made rubber). Rubber is a distinctive material that is both elastic and viscous. Silicone parts can therefore function as surprise and vibration isolators and/or as damper. Natural rubber is something coagulated from the latex of the silicone tree, (hevea brasiliensis). Natural rubber features low compression set, high tensile durability, resilience, scratching and tear level of resistance, good friction characteristics, excellent bonding capacities to metal substrate, and good vibration dampening characteristics.

Wheels based on the use of light metals such as aluminium and magnesium is becoming popular on the market. This wheel speedily becomes popular for the original equipment vehicle in European countries in 1960's and for the replacement tire in USA in 1970's. Aluminium is a metal with top features of excellent lightness, thermal conductivity, corrosion amount of resistance, characteristics of casting, low temperature, machine handling and recycling, etc. This metals main advantages is reduced weight, high accuracy and design choices of the steering wheel. This metal pays to for energy conservation because it can be done to re-cycle aluminium easily.

Magnesium is about 30% lighter than aluminium, and also, excellent as for size steadiness and impact level of resistance. However, its use is principally restricted to auto racing, which needs the features of lightness and high durability at the expense of corrosion level of resistance and design choice, etc. weighed against aluminium.

Wheels are extensively made using alloys of aluminium and magnesium. Since aluminium is the most widely used metal to make wheels let us start to see the basic mechanised properties of rubber and aluminium shown in a stand below. These properties impact the immediate contact between your relative and absolute surfaces.

Mechanical Properties



Elastic Modulus - E (109N/mm2)

0. 01-0. 1


Poisson's Percentage -

0. 5

0. 33

Yield Stress (MPa)



Hardness (durometer)



Ultimate tensile durability (mm2)



Thermal Conductivity (W/mK)

1. 59


Table 1. Basic Mechanical Properties of Silicone & Aluminium


The friction between your tyres of a car and the road determine maximum acceleration and moreover the lowest stopping distance. Therefore the friction between two areas should be studied into consideration. In this case, rubber has a coefficient of friction of 0. 7 for dry highways and 0. 4 for damp highways. Under ideal conditions ( no rain, dust particles on the highway surface) the coefficient of slipping friction of about 5 will be obtained with a soft tread because the adhesion is maximized by large contact are. If the street was wet, it could easily curb the adhesion and produce very dangerous traveling conditions and achieve very low coefficient of friction. Hence, the tread structure on the top of your tyre is to get rid of such drastic reduction in the coefficient of friction.

Tribology has made a substantial contribution to the development of tyres. Friction between your tyre and the street surface is given by two components. The first part comes from atomic forces across the surface where in fact the bonds between the tyre and road surface are busted in order to accomplish sliding. Once we saw earlier silicone has an extremely low stretchy modulus which results in high frictional push giving good braking ability.

Wear Level of resistance:

The issue of irregular tire wear has always been a concern even in the days when most vehicles ran bias ply wheels. With today's longer wearing radial tires, unusual wear has surfaced as the primary concern of all vehicles maintenance managers. In fact, it is the ability of today's advanced radial wheels to provide long original tread life, which requires even more focus on good maintenance techniques and vehicle position. Tyre wear is a complicated phenomenon. It depends non-linearly on numerous guidelines, like tire compound and design, vehicle type and consumption, road conditions and street surface characteristics, environmental conditions (e. g. , temperature) and many others. Yet, car tire wear has many monetary and ecological implications. The probability to forecast tyre wear is therefore of major importance to tyre manufacturers. Knowledge of wear procedure could help to improve the quality of tires and other rubber parts employed in heavy surfaces conditions. With this project we need to sample a used wheel (in our case, a bi-cycle wheel) and try to find out which type of wear is dominating on the tyre. Let's take a look at the most common factors which effect wear is triggered in a tyre

Scuffing: The most basic and prominent wear mechanism. It includes adhesive, abrasive as well as exhaustion mechanisms credited to cyclic characteristics of the loads.

Aggressive Travelling: Hard cornering, content spinning the auto tires when accelerating, and sitting on the brakes can all wear tread off the tires very quickly. Changing your traveling habits can extend tyre life significantly.

Underinflated Tyres: In case the tires aren't managed at the recommended pressure and are underinflated, the tread flexes more than standard as the tyre rotates. Over many kilometers, this increase tread wear.

All tyres have a tread wear ranking, which helps users regulate how long a tyre will last. A standard tests tyre has a score of 100. This means that if a tire has a tread ranking of 300, the maker desires the tire to have a lifespan 300% of the test tyre.


The final standards when selecting a material is compatibility. This identifies the fact that some materials do not like being in proximity with each other or with a lubricant among which can result in a whole selection of problems such as wear. The chemical substance compatibility of rubber is vital because a silicone materials can degrade quite quickly if it's not compatible with environmentally friendly conditions or the highways. Aging is recognized as deterioration in physical properties. Namely, aged silicone becomes either hardened or softened triggering cracking or lack of adhesion or deterioration. The primary causes of rubber aging in wheels are Ozone, Heat and Deflection. To protect rubber from ageing, Antioxidants and Waxes are generally found in the rubber compounding.


The geometrical properties of both surfaces are important to tribology in conditions of their comparative form and surface consistency as illustrated by the physique below

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Figure 5 - Surface factors


The amount of agreement between two floors is named conformity. It's important as it influences physical properties like heat, pressure and shear stress. Wheels and tyres have low conformity and can be visualized of an ball rolling over a flat plate where the ball is the steering wheel and road as the surface.

Surface feel:

It is one of the very most complex areas of tribology. You will find no simple design rules to follow when interacting with surface textures or conformity. Basically worn and unworn surfaces are likened and the quantity of wear is analysed. Areas texture affects the degree of contact when they are in close proximity resulting in wear.

Experimental work has uncovered that there is a large variation in the amount of wheel wear on different floors, the wear on the harsh, tough surface being about 3 x as severe as that on the tough refined surface. Qualitative examination has shown that it's the harshness of the top which is of major importance in wheel wear, with surface roughness as a marginally modifying factor. Quantitative evaluation of various parameters indicating surface characteristics has shown that the shape of the asperity tips and the low-speed, damp coefficient of friction are major factors. These may be used to predict wear to a high degree of value within the range of values included in these measurements, although a huge sample of surfaces would be advisable to check this romance further.


Any product used to reduce friction and wear and in so doing to provide clean running and adequate life of tribological components is named a lubricant. The hottest lubricants are nutrient oils, synthetic oils and grease. There are various lubricants used in various parts of the wheel. For instance, the wheel bearings are lubricated with grease (can operate under high and low temps) and mineral oil is utilized for mounting and dismounting the tyres across the rim. Preferred materials for consumption on beads of your tyre are

1. Vegetable engine oil soaps

2. Pet soaps

These materials will haven't any adverse effect on wheels or rims. In the event the approved lubricants are applied in drinking water solutions, they must contain 10% to 20% solids and a rust inhibitor. When dried up, the lubricant should have no residual lubricity and should not flake from the surface after which it is applied. Lubricants are categorised further on the basis of selection as shown below.

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Figure 6: Classification of lubricants


An important property of any lubricant is the liquid viscosity. Viscosity is a way of measuring level of resistance to shear in a substance or in other words the way of measuring of fluid's amount of resistance to circulation. Viscosity changes rapidly with heat and pressure. Viscosity modifiers make oil's viscosity higher at increased temperatures, increasing its viscosity index (VI). This combats the inclination of the olive oil to become slim at temperature. The advantage of using less viscous petrol with a VI improver is the fact it has improved low heat fluidity as well to be viscous enough to lubricate at functioning heat. Most multi-grade oils have viscosity modifiers


Additives are chemicals put into the mineral oils, synthetic oils and greases to make them perform specific functions like reduce friction, wear and maintaining cleanliness of the tribological program. Additives consist of up to 5% by weight of some olive oil and there will vary types of additives for different purposes.

Friction modifiers or friction reducers, like molybdenum disulfide, are used for increasing petrol economy by reducing friction between your tyres.

Extreme pressure agents bond to steel surfaces, keeping them from touching even at high pressure.

Antiwear additives or wear inhibiting additives cause a film to encompass metal parts, assisting to keep them separated like zinc dialkyldithiophosphate.


The performance of essential oil lubricants can be mainly hindered credited to contaminants from various factors like

Dirt from the outside environment, i. e. streets and pollution

Other liquids in the system

Materials taken off floors by wear


Degradation of an element is a definite aspect tribologists appear to make advancements on. Degradation occurs generally due to chemical reactions that happen between your tyre mixture and the road surface at high operating conditions which is sensible. The procedure can be deterred by careful collection of lubricants which operate and high operating temperature.

Operating conditions:

Unlike the preceding factors relating to materials, surfaces and lubricants, functioning conditions are generally enforced by the function of the system or system alternatively than being preferred by the tribologist. The major operating conditions of the tribological system are categorized in

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Figure 7 - Classification of Operating Conditions


Each tyre was created to carry a particular load at a specific inflation pressure. Great attention must be taken in determining the strain applied to any tribological system as they have a major influence on friction and wear. Every tyre has a specific load rating which is important for our protection and our vehicle performance. Part of the tyre size is two digits that almost all of us are unaware of. The two digits before the speed rating sign as show in the figure as 9 is the load rating. It determines the maximum amount of fill the tyre is capable of holding as well as for different loads there are different load ratings. They can be found in vehicle's handbook.

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Figure 9 - Insert rating on the tyre

Relative Action:

The relative movement you see in rims take two forms, i. e. Rolling and Sliding. The tires of a car rotate around their axis and slide across the surface of the road. From this movement we can assess the comparative magnitude and is called slide-roll ratio. However it is not only the magnitude of the action that people need to consider but also the magnitude in terms of displacement, variant in time, speed and acceleration. Higher operating rates of speed create more friction and we have to be familiar with wear characteristics.


Temperature of a system is measured to specify the viscosity of the lubricant in particular. They are defined by combustion of motors, frictional home heating in the brakes, etc. which are all external factors. Heat can have a harmful effect on the surface by affecting the performance of the lubricant both hot and frigid. Tyre pressure ranges significantly with temperature because air occupies more quantity at higher temperature ranges and less level at lower temperature ranges. As discussed earlier higher operating temperatures can manually degrade the tyre too.


The nature of the surroundings adjoining any tribological interface is a significant factor to consider. They have a major role to learn in

Contamination of the lubricant (Grease, Natural oils)

Chemical reaction with the lubrication with can lead to wear

The tyres of a vehicle are subjected to the road areas and the climatic condition (dry and wet roads). Tribologists haven't any control over the environmental conditions but they can analyze the components conversation with the exterior conditions and design them consequently.


Frictional performance:

Various forces and occasions that action around a tyre are essential to outline an axis system for explanation of frictional forces. One amongst the normally used axis systems governed by the Culture of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is shown in Fig. The origin of the axis system is the centre of tyre contact. The X axis would be that the intersection of the wheel plane and therefore the ground plane, with a positive direction forward. The Z axis is perpendicular to the bottom planes with a confident way downward. The Y axis is below the bottom plane, and its course is chosen to create the axis system orthogonal and right.

There are three causes and three moments acting on the wheel from the ground. Tractive pressure (or longitudinal power) Fx is the part in the X way of the resultant pressure exerted on the tire by the road. Lateral power Fy is the component in the Y course, and normal make Fz is the part in the Z route. Overturning point in time Mx is as soon as about the X axis exerted on the wheel by the road. Rolling resistance second My is the moment about the Y axis, and aligning torque Mz is as soon as about the Z axis.


Figure 10 - Frictional forces and moments over a wheel

The two important frictional causes that act on a tyre will be the rolling level of resistance and traction. Rolling level of resistance is the pressure resisting the action of the steering wheel when it rolls over a surface.

Friction between your tyre and the road is triggered by slipping and the level of resistance because of the air circulating inside the tyre. Available experimental results provide a breakdown of tire loss in the speed range 128-152 kilometres/h (80-95 mph) as 90-95% credited to inside hysteresis losses in the wheel, 2-10% anticipated to friction between the tire and the ground, and 1. 5-3. 5% scheduled to air level of resistance.

The tyre carcass is the composite composition of the tyre in the creation process, with the layers of rubber layered plies made of polyester, nylon, rayon, or material, that comprises the resistant structure of the tyre upon which the tread, belts, bead, and sidewall are laid. When a tire is moving, the carcase is deflected within the area of floor contact. Being a results of tyre distortion, the conventional pressure within the main one half the contact patch is greater than that in the trailing half. The centre of traditional pressure is shifted within the direction of rolling. This switch produces a display concerning the axis of rotation of the tyre that is usually that the rolling resistance second. In a free-rolling tyre, the applied wheel torsion is zero; so, a horizontal force at the tyre-ground contact patch should can be found to keep equilibrium. This resultant horizontal force is usually known as the rolling resistance.


Figure 11 - Variance of rolling resistance coefficient of radial-ply and bias-ply car tires with speed on a smooth, flat street surface under rated load and inflation pressure. (Automotive Handbook, 2nd edition, Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany. )

Surface conditions also have an effect on the rolling amount of resistance. On hard, smooth surfaces, the rolling resistance is significantly lower than that over a rough street. On wet surfaces, a higher rolling amount of resistance than on dried floors is usually observed. Figure shows a comparison of the moving resistance of traveler car auto tires over six street areas with different textures, ranging from polished cement to coarse asphalt.


Figure 12: Variant of tire moving amount of resistance with pavement surface texture

Figure 12- Aftereffect of Swiftness on the coefficient of friction between tyre and street surface

Wear behavior:

Tyre wear is hard to forecast and dicult to comprehend. The tyre behavior is eected by changing circumstances like: Routes and design of driving, highway surface, season, the automobile and the tyre itself. Wear in tyres are thought to be caused by the next reasons

The variant in wear rate credited to driving a vehicle style

The street surface characteristics (friction, abrasion)

Wear parameters depend on the season ( Temperatures and wetness)

The dierent causes of wear lead to dierent types of wear. They can be further categorized into regular and unusual wear (active). Regular wear occurs on even areas along the tyre circumference or on the tyre itself which makes it easy to study wear.

Irregular wear on the tyre ends up with irregular locations on the tyre which wear faster than the other areas and it usually occurs in undriven rear end wheels. A good example of unusual tyre wear is shown below.

Figure 13: Exemplory case of unusual tyre wear

Rubber wear:

Wear of plastic elements is thought as due to the vitality evaporation because of friction. Friction of rubber materials can be divided into two main types, i. e. adhesion and hysteresis. The adhesion phenomenon is a molecular kinetic stick-slip situation between the rubber and the contacting surface. Hysteresis is a phenomenon within the sliding rubber.

Abrasive wear:

Adhesion occurs when two stable surfaces glide over each other under great pressure. A momentary bonding shows up between molecules of any sliding silicone surface and a contact surface because of the ruthless. The bonds are torn aside because of the carrying on sliding, which results in abrasive wear. When both floors for occasion have a correctly smooth consistency, like high hysteresis plastic on goblet, both surfaces will be totally connected. The causing maximum possible contact area causes a maximum adhesion push.

Figure 14: Schematic diagram of the friction and wear mechanisms in rubber

This is but not a typical situation of adhesion for a road tyre. The slipping velocity is not high enough and each the tyre surface and specially the highway surface is too harsh on a microscopic level. Microscopic severe textures, like asphalt, cause native adhesion by the roughness peaks of the materials that results in abrasion. The adhesion is determined by texture properties, rubber properties and especially the vertical load and also the sliding rate.

Figure 15: Section of adhesion in different load situations

Figure shows the inuence of the vertical fill on the area of adhesion. Bigger vertical loads squash the rubber materials more between the irregularities of the road surface. This increases the overall contact area which results in more abrasion and adhesion.

Hysteresis wear:

At rough areas the tyre will wear because of deformation which results in fatigue. This is developed from the feel peaks consequently of viscoelastic behavior resulting in high deformation and rising slopes and low deformation at small slopes. Hysteresis is fairly subtle wear in comparison to abrasion but it's constant as the plastic slides over the slopes resulting in pressure hysteresis in the rubber materials as shown below.

Figure 16- Deformation makes which lead to hysteresis wear

Lubrication mechanisms and regimes

We saw previous the types of lubricants generally used in tyres. The proper execution of lubrication experienced in a tribological software is a function of the

Materials of the surfaces

Surface conformity and texture

Lubricant properties

Operating conditions, such as weight, speed, heat range and environment.

Lubrication regimes are a convenient and a powerful way of classifying the form of lubrication in the tribological interface. Why don't we see the different lubrication regimes that function on a tyre-road surface.

Lubricated friction in tyres is basically of two types, boundary coating lubrication and elastohydrodynamic lubrication. Boundary-layer lubrication occurs when the tyre and are in relative seductive asperity contact. A film of lubricant only a few molecular layers thick independent the asperities as shown below

Figure 17 - Boundary Part lubrication

An elastic indentation of the plastic develops due to lubricant build up at the leading edge of the chest muscles. The inertia and viscosity-induced retardation of lubricant displacement account for the ensuing indentation. This is called elastohydrodynamic lubrication and the accumulation generates an upward pressure which considerably reduces the friction pressure. The last mentioned situation is hydrodynamic lubrication.

Figure 18- Elastohydrodynamic lubrication

A well known exemplory case of hydrodynamic lubrication is the aquaplaning of car tyres on wet roads. This is dragged by the car tire in to the wedge formed geometry formed between your tyre and the road surface, causing hydrodynamic pressure to develop at the front of the tyre. If the pressure is high enough to separate the car tire from the road with a slim film of normal water, the tire loses almost all its hold and slippage is unaffected. To boost the speed at which aquaplaning might occur angled groove patterns effectively disperse the from the contact patch.

Potential design changes to imrove Tribological performance:

There are extensive areas where the tribological experts can look into in the coming up with of tyres. There's always scope for improvement in the growth of technology.

Demand for increases service intervals- This calls for the lubricant olive oil to execute for longer periods of time without degradation.

Better understanding of the relationship between your solid allergens and the wear of components can help in filtering the precise lubricant to be utilized.

Significant improvements are made in wear level of resistance, friction coefficients and fill capacity by forming regular micro surface framework in the form of dimples using Laser Surface Texturing.

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