At 1 600 km/h tyres aren’t rubber anymore

Date:4 December 2017 Tags:, , , ,

At 1 600 km/h the laws of physics are stacked against Bloodhound SSC, but that won’t stop it from trying.

By David Grossman

It’s a fact of physics that has confounded tyre makers for years: Spinning bodies gain more weight while they’re spinning. So how do you make a tyre durable enough to withstand extreme speeds when the tyre itself is getting heavier the faster the car moves?

This problem vexes the makers of hypercars like the Bugatti Chiron, and it especially vexes the team trying to build a 1 600 km/h land speed record car. Here, Real Engineering accelerates into the problem.

This added spinning weight can have beneficial side effects. It can be used to creative artificial gravity in space, for example. But when it comes to tyres, you’ve got to chunk standard ways of thinking out the window.

Sports cars, which generally have to be some form of street legal, need rubber tyres. When you’re the Bloodhound SSC, a rocket built solely to challenge the land speed record, you need not concern yourself with anything beyond driving in a straight line and stopping. That means metal tyres are on the table.

Metal can distribute weight better. But when you’re talking about speeds this extreme, the tyres need to be lightweight to minimise their own increasing inertial force. A tyre also needs to be strong, meaning carbon fibre isn’t an option. A material like forged aerospace aluminium is what you need, and that’s what the Bloodhound SSC will use as it tries for record.

Even if you’re not attempting any records, there are still ways to get more out of your tyres.

In the video above, YouTube channel Real Engineering shows how the Bloodhound SSC’s wheels are designed. Take a look.

From: PM USA