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How Does Tire Balancing Affect Rolling Resistance?

There are many aspects which influence rolling resistance of pneumatic tires.

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There are many aspects which influence rolling resistance of pneumatic tires. These include the vehicle’s load applied to the tires, the materials and compounds of which the tire is constructed and the surface upon which the tire is rolling. However, the vibrations and oscillations caused by an imbalanced tire will also increase a pneumatic tire’s rolling resistance.

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The transfer of energy from the engine to the wheels will always result in a loss of energy. Any rotating component should be properly centered to an axis and balanced in order to reduce an unnecessary loss of energy and be able operate effectively. For this reason, vibrations associated with an imbalanced tire will indirectly cause increased rolling resistance. This was proven in a third-party test on Counteract Balancing Beads conducted by the PIT group in spring 2012. 

Typically, tires are immediately balanced after they are mounted to a rim. The two primary methods of tire and wheel balancing are using traditional spin-balancing machines in combination with stick-on or hammer-on weights, or using an internal tire balancing agent. Tire vibrations will compromise the tire’s footprint by distributing weight unevenly, pulling up on the vehicle’s suspension and lifting the tire as it spins. As a result, an imbalanced tire will increase in temperature and cause the sidewalls to flex. Consequently, the tire’s temperature will be higher than its optimal operating temperature. 

The benefits of balancing a pneumatic tire are clear: not only will it virtually eliminate uncomfortable vibrations, but it will also increase the vehicle’s efficiency by focusing a loss of potential energy to where it is needed. The wheel and tire spinning on an axis must be balanced and centered in order to decrease the rolling resistance of the tire and keep the vehicle operating efficiently.

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Mike Scavuzzo is the territory manager for Counteract Balancing Beads.

Check out the rest of the April digital edition of Tire Review here.

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