Centrifugal Thrust

One applied law of physics that greatly affects tire responsiveness and adjustment to the road is centrifugal force. There are multiple ways that centrifugal force affects a tire, including centrifugal thrust. From lateral force measurements to camber thrust to pneumatic trail and cornering force, the energy developed through centrifugal thrust is an extremely important factor that is considered during the tire design process.

Tires are subjected to a variety of physical forces, including centrifugal thrust, which in turn put a variety of demands on tires. The energy transfers that take place from tire to wheel, suspension, and vehicle chassis vary based on a number variables: tire construction, tire materials, tread patterns, and tire size, as well as outside variables such as vehicle mass and velocity.

Centrifugal Thrust, Centrifugal Growth, & All Things Centrifugal

The word centrifugal is based in Latin, and the word itself suggests the applied law of physics. "Centri-fugal" means directed outward from the center. Because of applied force and energy, an object will attempt to continually move in the direction it's traveling. This centrifugal thrust can be applied to the science of tires in many ways.

For example, when a vehicle is traveling around a turn, or a corner, it's working through a circular pattern of movement. While the angles may be measured precisely by the various roadways, the actual path traveled by the vehicle is arc-like, or circular.

This movement is subject to centrifugal thrust forces that push the vehicle toward the outside of the turn regardless of the direction the tires are actually facing. Such thrust causes the tires to fight against the forces of inertia in order to respond to a driver's demands.

Centrifugal Thrust & Centrifugal Growth

Centrifugal growth also affects tires. This occurs as centrifugal force occurs from a tire's center outwards as it rotates. As the energy of the spinning tire increases through velocity, the tire will expand. This is a direct result of the construction of a pneumatic tire.


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