A tire slips circumferentially on the rim when subjected to a driving or braking torque greater than the maximum tire-rim frictional torque. The balance of the tire-rim assembly achieved with weight attachment at certain circumferential locations in tire mounting is then lost, and vibration or adverse effects on handling may result when the tire is rolled. Bead fitment refers to the fit between a tire and its rim, and in particular, to whether a gap exists between the two.
Rim slip resistance, or the maximum tire-rim frictional torque, is the integral of the product of contact pressure, friction coefficient, and the distance to the wheel center over the entire tire-rim interface. Analytical solutions and finite element analyses were used to study the dependence of the contact pressure distribution on tire design and operating attributes such as mold ring profile, bead bundle construction and diameter, and inflation pressure, etc. The tire-rim contact pressure distribution consists of two parts. The pressure on the ledge and the flange, respectively, comes primarily from tire-rim interference and inflation. Relative contributions of the two to the total rim slip resistance vary with tire types, depending on the magnitudes of ledge interference and inflation pressure. Based on the analyses, general guidelines are established for bead design modification to improve rim slip resistance and mountability, and to reduce the sensitivity to manufacturing variability. An iterative design and analysis procedure is also developed to improve bead fitment.