832Tyre tread considerations

The purpose of a pneumatic tyre is to support the wheel load by a cushion of air trapped between the well of the wheel rim and the toroid-shaped casing known as the carcass. Wrapped around the outside of the tyre carcass is a thick layer of rubber compound known as the tread whose purpose is to protect the carcass from road damage due to tyre impact with the irregular contour of the ground and the abrasive wear which occurs as the tyre rolls along the road. While the wheel is rotating the tread provides driving, braking, cornering and steering grip between the tyre and ground. Tyre grip must be available under a variety of road conditions such as smooth or rough hard roads, dry or wet surfaces, muddly tracks, fresh snow or hard packed snow and ice and sandy or soft soil terrain. Tread grip may be defined as the ability of a rolling tyre to continuously develop an interaction between the individual tread elements and the ground so that any longitudinal (driving) or lateral (side) forces imposed on the wheel will not be able to make the tread in contact with the ground slide.

A tyre tread pattern has two main functions:

1 to provide a path for drainage of water which might become trapped between the tyre contact patch and the road,

2 to provide tread to ground bite when the wheel is subjected to both longitudinal and lateral forces under driving conditions.

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