|FORMULA ONE RACING|
The first classical law of friction states: “The size of the
contact surface does not influence the friction”. Why, then, are tires
for the Formula 1 racing cars so wide?
The classical friction laws apply to materials that
undergo mainly plastic deformation in the asperity summits. This in
not the case for polymers (and elastomers). Polymers display a lower friction
coefficient at higher nominal contact pressure. A high friction force
can consequently only be achieved with a large surface area.
A racing tire
performs optimally at an operation temperature of 100°C-110°C. During
racing, the tire temperature is measured constantly and the data
passed on to the driver. If the F1-car is getting ready for the race,
the tires’ temperature is raised with tire heaters. A sort of electric
blanket is used to pre-heat the tires to 80°C. Why is the tire
temperature so important and what would happen if the temperature
would become too high?