One of the numerous tools at the race car designer’s disposal to make sure the car gets the best performance out of all four tyres is steering geometry. Throughout the article, we’ll discuss the history, function, and potential effects of differences in the Ackermann Steering geometry on tyre performance over a vehicle’s operating range.
Consider a reduced cornering manoeuvre in which there is no automobile sliding, and all tyres are already in pure rolling condition. All four vehicle tyres follow different trajectories around a common turn centre as it moves along a curved course. Due to the unequal curvature radii, the inner front tyre must be guided by the steering geometry at a greater angle than the outer front tyre to prevent skidding. The geometric arrangement that enables all the front tires to be turned at the proper angle to avoid sliding tyres is known as “Ackermann steering.“
The disparity in steer angles needed increases with the vehicle body turn radius. When parking here on the street or in the pit lane, steering kinematics is a helpful way to prevent sliding tyres. When the car is moving fast, the situation becomes considerably more problematic.
Steering axle inclination or kingpin inclination is the angle, as seen from the front of the wheel, between the vertical line and the centre of the kingpin or steering axle (0-5 degrees for trucks and 10-15 degrees for passenger cars)
Caster: From the side, the angle formed by the continuous line and the kingpin centre line in the wheel’s axis is known as the caster angle.
When observed from the front, the the camber is the inclination between the wheel’s centre and vertical lines.
Toe-in: When looked at vertically downward seems that the front is often smaller than between the back ends.
Toe-in refers to the distinction between these distances.
The difference in the angle created by turns between the car’s two front tires and the frame. The toe-out is secured by establishing the proper connection between the steering knuckle arms, tie rods, and pitman’s arm.
The primary purpose of the steering mechanism is to translate the steering handle’s rotating motion into an angle change for the front wheels. In addition, the steering system must perform efficiently when the car is in motion and keep moving straight ahead even when it hits potholes and bumps in the road.
The Steering System’s Function
- To turn the car at the driver’s command.
- To manage the motion of a vehicle.
- To limit how quickly car tyres deteriorate.
- To maintain the direction of the wheels’ rolling motion on the roadways.
- To produce the self-righting effect.
- To increase the driver’s effort for simple operation.
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When making a turn, the front wheel should roll without lateral skidding.
The tyre must be sufficiently elastic to maintain an arc with a larger radius during turns than a rigid tyre.
After completing the turn, the wheels must return automatically to the straight position. When travelling straight, the wheel must stay in its usual place.