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Rubber and wheels

A brief excursion into the past: how the tire appeared

Tires began their triumphant march across the planet in 1846, when there were no “self-propelled carriages” at all, and the city streets were filled with the roar of metal carriage wheels.

 Young Robert William Thomson, apparently tired of the constant noise of London after the quiet Scotland, where he was from, proposed to “wrap” the wheel rims in elastic material. And he did not hesitate with the application to the patent office.

Thomson did not only suggest using the tire, but also described its design. The proto-tire consisted of several layers of fabric and rubber, with which the fabric was impregnated, and the contact with the road was provided by leather, reinforced with metal rivets. The first tires, besides the obvious noise reduction, had another unexpected effect – the speed of the crews increased significantly.

Fifteen years later, veterinary surgeon John Dunlop, who had adapted a garden hose to his son’s iron bicycle wheels, unknowingly opened the camera. Today the Dunlop company, named after the inventor of the first pneumatic tire, is one of the most famous manufacturers.

A little later, engineer Childe Kingston Weltch, familiar with Thomson’s work and appreciating Dunlop’s original solution, separated the tube from the tire and reinforced the edges with wire. This innovation was appreciated by two Frenchmen André and Edouard Michelin, who founded the famous Michelin company for the production of pneumatic tires.

Basic elements of a modern tire

Basically, the design of the tire after more than 100 years has not changed much, undergoing only modifications and improvements.

A modern tire is a kind of “sandwich”, each layer of which carries its own functional load. This is the product of the work of hundreds of engineers from various companies, designed to create the most durable, comfortable and safe tire.

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In our garage you can easily purchase tires of any profile, diameter and brand such as: Yokohama, Pirelli, Michelin, Continental, Kumho, Hankook, Nitto, Bridgestone, Goodyear and others.

Influence of wheel weights on handling, dynamics and other car parameters

Handling

If you hit an obstacle on the road, then the maximum impact force is not on the body, but on the wheel. Only then, through the snubber, the residual force reaches the body, and the wheel returns to its original state. Practice shows that with a decrease in the unsprung mass of a car, the impact force on the body decreases, and maneuvering becomes smoother and more comfortable. But do not abuse the weight reduction: if the unsprung weight is too low compared to the body weight, then it will take more time for the wheel to return to its original position. When driving in ideal weather, this will not affect safety, but on wet or slippery asphalt the likelihood of skidding will increase significantly.

Dynamic characteristics

Any engine is capable of producing only a certain amount of energy at a time. The heavier the wheels of the car are, the more power will be spent to spin them, which means that there will be a minimum amount of free energy for fast acceleration. If we take specific statistics, then reducing the mass of the wheels by one kilogram increases the power of the car by about 1%. Many car owners, knowing this, and also that forged wheels are lighter than cast ones, choose them to increase the performance of the car and reduce the acceleration time.

Smooth running

Calculations show that reducing the weight of each wheel by at least one kilogram is equivalent to reducing the weight in the cabin by 40 kilograms. In practice, you can give the following example: if you reduce the weight of each wheel by four kilograms (this is not difficult to do, given in one forged disc weight), then the ride will be the same as if you had four passengers in the cabin. Overclocking characteristics will remain at the same level.

Everyone knows the answer to the question “Which wheels are lighter, forged or cast?”. For example, one original 20-inch alloy wheel for the Range Rover weighs about 25 kilograms. A forged analogue with a maximum static load for the same car – about 13 kilograms. Each wheel is approximately for 12 kg lighter. As a result, forged wheels reduce the unsprung weight by almost half a tonne, while improved ride comfort is achieved without sacrificing dynamics and acceleration characteristics.

Brief weight comparison of the main wheel types

  • Steel discs made using stamping technology are the heaviest and most losing option. Many car owners prefer to replace such wheels with lighter ones immediately after buying a car. The only advantage of this category is its reasonable price.
  • Aluminum alloy wheels provide a weight saving of approximately 20% compared to steel counterparts. In addition, they have a beneficial effect on the cooling of the brake system and are easy to process, which simplifies repairs and allows for unique design solutions for custom production.

• Forged wheels keep weight to a minimum. A special technology for the production of forged discs (hot stamping method) allows to reduce weight for 20–50% in comparison with analogs made of aluminum and steel, respectively. And due to the unsurpassed plasticity (with a strong impact, the disc does not burst, but only slightly deforms), reliability increases. Even though forged wheels are more expensive than their cast or steel counterparts, the increased dynamic performance, improved braking performance and maximum safety justify all the costs.

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engine repair

Restoration and replacement of power unit components is the most technically complex and responsible process of everything that relates to car maintenance. It is almost impossible to do it yourself without special equipment. Therefore, in such a situation, people usually turn to a specialized center.

Partial as well as scheduled or major repairs are possible. The planned one is carried out after the exhaust of the resource of the power unit as a result of the run. Unscheduled due to other reasons - the wear of certain parts faster due to their more limited resource than the power plant as a whole. Maintenance is also necessary, aimed at maintaining the units in order to extend the service life or due to unexpected breakdowns associated with various causes of these phenomena (accidents, low-quality spare parts).

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21 April 2020

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