844Slip angle Fig 831a

Any lateral force applied to a road wheel will tend to push the supple tyre walls sideways, but the opposing tyre to ground reaction causes the tyre contact patch to take up a curved distorted shape. As a result, the rigid wheel will point and roll in the direction it is steered, whereas the tyre region in contact with the ground will follow the track continuously laid down by the deformed tread path of the contact patch (Fig. 8.31(a)). The angle made between the direction of the wheel plane and that which it travels is known as the slip angle. Provided the slip angle is small, the compliance of the tyre construction will allow each element of tread to remain in contact with the ground without slippage.

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