Author: Nicolae Mazilu
Published on Friday, May 6th, 2011 in category ProtoQuant
Technology took over almost everything in matters of understanding the fundamental physics of the basic devices that make our life what it is today. Among these, understanding how the tire works is instrumental in many respects of the modern life, but the technology of calculation reduces it simply to certain explanatory correlations between calculational results. These are used mainly to explain facts obtained in a laboratory under restricted conditions that engineers feel to best approximate the real conditions. The lack of fundamental understanding of how the tire works is simply perpetuated by the fact that car makers are interested in improving one or another from the tire performances at a time, and these are, in most cases, achieved by slight changes in the chemical composition of the rubbers, by tiny changes in the shape of the tire, the shape of the reinforcements, etc. These changes are done randomly by trial and error until the desired result is achieved. Any general conclusions are thus matters of experience, and become trade secret. The calculations, mostly by finite elements, are done not for prediction as usually claimed for commercial and social purposes, but in order to validate, to a certain extent, what was already done by guessing.
This page is dedicated to the theoretical physics of tire, a subject removed by technology from science to such an extent that it is virtually nonexistent. It starts from the idea that the tire is a material structure, delimited by surfaces through which the tire communicates with the environment, and that the objects of this communications are dictated by the nature of the surfaces of separation and by the shape of the region from surfaces through which the communication takes place. The main point of this theoretical physics is that the tire is among the few of the modern structures whose description and understanding require even a revision of the physical and mathematical principles themselves used for that description - not just more powerful computers, sophisticated visual presentations and state of the art numerical methods. Thus, only after such revision is done can one claim a proper prediction in the realm of tire behavior. Otherwise, any declaration of ‘outstanding’ prediction capabilities is just a regular commercial.