Mid West US.
The keyword is relative. If you stop at Tires-R-Us and ask what sizes of
tires you can safely fit in the wheel wells of a Ford or GM car you will
easily get an answer.... not so for an Audi. (at least in this area)
What kind of company do you work for and where is it located?
One will have a long thin footprint, the other will have ashort fat
Think about it - it's the air in the tyres which supports the car, and
the force between the ground and the tyre provides that support. If
there is 500lbs weight bearing on one wheel, and the air pressure in
that tyre is 50lbs/sq.in., then it will take 10sq.in. of tyre surface to
take the weight, therefore the area of the contact patch will be
10sq.in. Whether that tyre is one inch wide, or ten inches wide, the
surface area in contact with the ground will still be 10sq.in.
Peter Bell (Note Spamtrap - To reply, replace 'invalid' with 'bellfamily')
This is correct theoretically, but assumes that the tire tread and sidewall
are infinitely flexible. Actually, they are not.
Lowering tire pressure will certainly increase the contact patch, but if it
is long & narrow, then the tread will buckle, raising the center line of the
tire and reducing traction. If the contact patch is short & wide, then a
given decrease in pressure will cause less tread distortion.
The net result of all this is that low-profile, wide tires can run with
lower pressures than high-profile, allowing the contact patch to be
maximized without tread distortion, and consequent loss of adhesion.
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