Wheel, tire and roadway
The contact area between the vehicle and the road surface is the size of that which footballs make with any surface – and transfers the circumferential forces and driving forces of powerful, highly dynamic cars driven.
The wheel-related components of the chassis, in other words, the tyres, wheels, wheel hubs and wheel bearings are heavy-duty, safety-related components that are unsprung and arranged directly in the load path. The current tyre cross-sections result in an impressive lateral force potential – and also in a pronounced vertical rigidity specifically for tyres with integrated emergency running properties, this ensuring an additional force action. At the same time, the wheel design is just a key distinguishing feature for the design effect of the vehicle and therefore the design has not necessarily been optimised with regard to a weight or strength.
Against the background of these complex requirements for functionality and a more secure service life, Fraunhofer LBF has been focussing on these wheel-related components for many years. Fraunhofer LBF engineers and scientists have been involved in diverse development and testing activities since the 1980s; the first job that we successfully completed was to inspect wheels using the first ZWARP laboratory test equipment.