What is a contact patch and how does it function?
A tyre is far more intricately designed than a simple spherical piece of inflating rubber connected to a wheel or rim. While many people believe that Tyres Peterborough are essential components of an automobile’s design, few are aware of their full significance or how much a vehicle depends on its tyres for performance and safety.
Prior to getting mounted onto a wheel and vehicle, pneumatic (pressurised) tyres used on modern automobiles maintain a spherical shape. However, when the pressure of the vehicle and the road is much, the tyres’ shapes change. The contact patch is the area of the tyre that, at any given time, turns flat and makes contact with the road. It is additionally known as a tyre footprint.
What is the Contact Patch?
The tread, tread grooves, and any additional tyre design elements, like siped rubber, that keep the tyre in contact with the ground as it rolls together to form the contact patch. Due to its unique construction, pneumatic tyres offer the widest range of grip options at both low and high speeds. The contact patch will change depending on the type of tyre, tread and shoulder design, sidewall construction, and tyre design. While the actual contact patch cannot be merely seen by looking at a car, its location can be easily determined by looking at the wheel’s profile or outside.
The only physical “connection” between your car’s tyres and the road is the contact patch. Proper pressure distribution inside the contact patch is crucial for improved ride quality and handling.
Two crucial aspects affect the contact patch:
- When the tyres are under too much pressure, the contact patch will grow larger.
- The contact patch will be smaller when tyres get inflated to a high pressure.
The boundaries of what your car can perform on the road can get affected by the contact patch. For instance, tyre producers always provide automobile racers with tyres that have a wide contact patch and a secure grip.
Low profile tyres often feature a short and wide contact patch, which is beneficial for the driver’s responsive handling, cornering, traction, and stability. While having a long and shallow contact patch, high profile tyres help to deliver predictable handling and a comfortable ride. While the latter works well on roads covered with snow, the former is better in dry weather and on dry surfaces.
How the Contact Patch Works?
The contact patch will continue to change and morph as long as the car is in contact with the road because of the way the wheels move and how the road is actually shaped. On uneven pavement or bouncy road conditions, for instance, the contact patch will somewhat fluctuate. Additionally, it will change when moving over slick road surfaces like gravel and dirt.
The driving techniques utilised as the tyre rolls through the contact patch will determine how much traction the tread pattern offers on the road surface. A tyre may gently slide as it approaches a turn or completes a corner. The slide angle is what’s known as this.
The contact patch was specifically designed with such events in mind in order to deliver the safest and smoothest ride possible.The contact patch is also intended to improve traction in bad conditions. Special components in tyres made for rainy weather driving aid the contact patch’s traction on the pavement.
Take a look at a tyre that has rain grooves. The rain grooves are able to direct water back and away from the actual tread blocks, which continue to make contact with the road surface below, as the tyre travels across the contact patch. A contact patch must maintain the tread lugs’ intended contact with the road surface in order to function at its peak efficiency.
Size of Contact Patch
Depending on the tyre design, including tyre size, the contact patch size will change. Wider tyres and most high-performance tyres, which have a smaller sidewall ratio, both have larger contact patches. Some off-road tyres may operate at extremely low PSI levels, giving the driver of the vehicle the chance to widen the contact patch for improved grip in low speed off-road situations MOT Peterborough.
A Myth About Contact Patch –
The majority of us think that the contact patch will naturally increase with “wider” tyres. The overall diameter of the tyre, the inflation pressure, and the weight bearing on it are only a few of the variables that affect the size of the contact patch. So while having broad tyres will undoubtedly improve the appearance of your car, it will have no impact on the size of your Continental Tyres Peterborough Contact patch. On the other hand, your fuel usage will undoubtedly increase.