The internal drum test bench of the Universität Karlsruhe (TH) allows tire performance measurements under controllable conditions. In cooperation with Continental AG a research project was initiated to focus on traction on ice and snow surfaces. The test chamber was upgraded with a cooling system, surface conditioners and a snow production system.

As a major result of these experiments, a strong correlation of thermal conditions and transmittable forces has been discovered. Furthermore, a high-speed infrared camera was used to monitor the temperature increase of the tire surfaces under traction.

This paper presents the developed theoretical model, which describes the time dependent temperature increase in the contact zone. Based on this model, a formula to determine the thermal limiting curve of force transmission on ice and snow was derived. The computed curves were verified through comparison with experimental data.

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