The Stages of the Wheel Evolution

To be absolutely historic, the inception of the wheel started in the Paleolithic era which is 15,000 to 7, 50,000 years ago. Then, humans started using big logs to transport huge loads. But, they found that the method of transportation was difficult because of the requirement of many rollers. To overcome the problem, two rollers were used with two-cross bars for each roller where one was front and another was behind the roller.

The next evolution in the wheel was the spoke. This technology was a breakthrough to accelerate transportation and useless material. Over the years, the first invented wire-spoke evolved into the round tension spoke that we on bicycles today. Another major invention that came along with round tension spoke was the Pneumatic tyre which was first patented by R.W. Thompson in 1845. His idea was further augmented by John Dunlop in 1888.

Automobile Wheels

In 1926 and 1927 steel welded-spoke wheels were followed by wooden artillery wheels which were used in Ford’s Model T in a foreign country. Then, Mr Dunlop invented pneumatic tyres, however, those tyres and today’s tyres have a big difference. The tyre those days was made of white carbon-less rubber and it lasted only for up to 40 miles before it required repairs. Notable problems were the tyre out of the wheel, punctures and pinched tubes. The introduction of the disc was the next step in wheel evolution. The rim out rolls out of a strip of metal, and the disc itself could be marked from sheet metal in one easy motion. After riveting two components and produced light, damage-resistant, stiff tyres and the tyres were cheaply produced in large quantities.

When we discuss our today story, we have basically two wheels for automotive use namely steel and alloy. As a result, the heavy wheels of the early automobile days have turned lightweight with strong spoke units.  Although we could not precisely point the technicality differences between steel and alloy wheels, the latter is lighter and conduct heat better. As a result, cars fitted with alloy wheels are sport improved steering and handling & extend the brakes life. Alloy wheel vehicles are appealing. However, when comparing the steel wheel with alloy wheels, the latter is obviously expensive. Instead of replacing the alloy wheel, many people go for Alloy Wheel Refurbishment Leamington Spa to save their pocket.

The wheels and future

As the conventional wheel design is reaching an end without any possible development, companies have started to search for exotic models to replace it. Among the companies, Michelin is the most active participant in the research field with two innovative concepts, the Tweel and the Active Wheel System.

Tweel was introduced in 2006 with the design of a non-pneumatic solution. Michelin states that even without the needy air in conventional tyres, the Tweel still delivers pneumatic-like load-carrying capacity, resistance to road hazards and ride comfort. Active Wheel System is the most revolutionary one as it integrates all key components into the wheel itself in a car. The Active Wheel Systems houses the suspension, the engine, the transmission shaft and the gearbox and it suits only to the electric cars.

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