Tire slip angle is a topic that is often brought up in racing. When someone is attempting to describe how a car turns or corners, you’re more likely to hear this term used in their explanation. A “slip angle,” on the other hand, may not be readily apparent. Exactly how this pertains to tires is also unclear!
Race cars’ forward speed causes their front tires to be pulled to one side, creating what is known as “tire slip angles” as they turn into a curve.
Tire slip angles are a feature of pneumatic tires that enable the automobile to turn by allowing the tires to generate large lateral force.
Without slip angles and coilovers, you’d be like an airplane pilot who presents the wing with no angle of attack to traffic zipping by. For the plane, there is no lift. For the racing car, there is no lateral traction. For example, if we used steel treads on asphalt, there would be no slip angles and inadequate friction available to generate any substantial cornering force.
When It Comes to Racing, Why Should You Care About the Slip Angles of Your Tires?
Using tire slip angles, racing drivers may better understand the tiny rotational movement of the race vehicle. Sidewalls of the tire flex to accommodate tire slip angles as a grip; hence, tire slip angles rise towards the back of the automobile during turn entrance.
If you see tire slip angles, you may think that the tires are “slipping” or “sliding” on the pavement, which would cause the tire slip angle.
The slip angles really show that the tires are gaining traction. When it comes to improving grip, raising the slip angle helps (up to the point where the grip levels off and then reduces).
The tire contact patch deforms dramatically when lateral force is applied. To provide grip, the majority of the rubber in the contact patch must remain in contact with the road surface while the slip angles are increasing. Consequently, driving at high speeds requires tires that have the maximum grip to be built up quickly, then held in place until ready to release the vehicle in a bend.
The maximum lateral grip for this tire may be found at an angle of slip of roughly 6 degrees. The grip area of the tire contact patch decreases in size as the driver pushes harder and/or friction at the tire contact patch decreases, resulting in less grip.
The tire is no longer capable of providing the degree of grip required. The driver uses countersteering to lessen the lateral force of cornering and bring the tire back into the grip zone so that the tire can regain its traction.
To Sum Up
We hope that the information presented here has helped you better understand the importance of the tire slip angle. We’ve attempted to keep things at a conceptual level since the subject matter is so complicated.
In light of this, you may be relieved to know that sometimes the tire makers themselves aren’t always sure of what they are doing!