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Can someone explain to me why tank wheels have rubber on them?


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RedBaronK #1 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 05:55

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Besides the Russian medium tanks, apparently German tanks have this feature too... What's the benefit of having rubber on tank wheels? How long do these last before wearing out typically? And do modern tanks still have these? Because I don't recall seeing it on MBTs today.... Was just curious. 

WulfeHound #2 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 05:59

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Noise reduction. Steel on steel is very loud

Medessec #3 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 06:06

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View PostWulfeHound, on Mar 21 2016 - 04:59, said:

Noise reduction. Steel on steel is very loud

 

Very much this. Just overall makes the tank run smoother and more silent. It's also a better grippy action on the tracks, resulting in better efficiency and reducing wear and tear on the grousers/track links.

 

I believe every 100-200 miles of operation on most machines, the crews were required to fully inspect the rubber on all road wheels. It was a pissant with the German cats, because the overlapping road wheel arrangements required them to take several wheels off before replacing just one back wheel closest to the stem of the torsion bar.

 

I'm sure some of the more seasoned Tank enthusiasts (such as The Chieftain) can link some images or databases of actual tank manuals, showing the inspection periods, service life, and instructions on wheel replacement.

 

Or just note them off from memory, 'cause they're nerds. :P 


Edited by Medessec, Mar 21 2016 - 06:08.


killswitch95 #4 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 06:06

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yeah Noise reduction as well as rubber does have some give to it, so I could see them helping to soften the load as well (any give is better than the no give that steel has)

 

and yeah modern MBTs have them to, they are those thin black rings around the roadwheels...



NL_Celt #5 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 06:10

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I believe it also helped to avoid shedding tracks during turns. Bit better and more flexible grip between wheel and track.

RedBaronK #6 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 06:16

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Ohhhhh I thought maybe the suspension back in the days was so terrible that's why they had rubber, never even thought it was for the noise.... Good points guys.



ThinkingOfYou #7 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 06:18

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If there's just a bit of rubber it's for noise reduction, and better traction against the treads.

If there's a lot of rubber then it is usually because the tank can take it's tracks off and run on the road wheels on roads.



Wailwulf #8 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 06:33

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To replace the rubber is much cheaper then replacing a full metal wheel.  A metal wheel gets worn, it is scrap.  The rubber tire/liner is worn, just need to replace the rubber at a fraction of the cost.

 

Not saying the other answers are wrong, but a tank is an expensive piece of equipment, reduction in costs to keep it maintained would be considered


Edited by Wailwulf, Mar 21 2016 - 06:35.


RedBaronK #9 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 07:22

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View PostThinkingOfYou, on Mar 21 2016 - 05:18, said:

If there's just a bit of rubber it's for noise reduction, and better traction against the treads.

If there's a lot of rubber then it is usually because the tank can take it's tracks off and run on the road wheels on roads.

 

Woah what? A tank can run on its wheels without tracks? U mean sort of like an APC? Never knew that either

Amazing_Ace #10 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 07:24

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View PostRedBaronK, on Mar 21 2016 - 07:22, said:

 

Woah what? A tank can run on its wheels without tracks? U mean sort of like an APC? Never knew that either

 

Christie tanks are known for this, yes. However keep in mind that this method has become obsolete.

Spoiler

 


Edited by Amazing_Ace, Mar 21 2016 - 07:28.


ket101 #11 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 07:35

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There's rubber on roadwheels for a couple of reasons.  Noise is one reason, though the metal on the ground from the track is still quite a factor and one reason why modern tracked vehicles use rubber blocks on the tracks as well.  Another reason is wear.  Metal on metal wears things out much quicker than rubber on metal.  The biggest problem with WWII vehicles is that the weights started to become more than the actual material could handle.  The Russians went to all metal wheels out of necessity, due to the increased weights of the heavy tanks like the KV-1, and due to a lack of materials, not to mention the extreme temperatures.  They knew they'd get increased wear, but accepted that it was necessary.  The rubber on roadwheels also fulfills a shock absorption function.  The Germans, in particular, went with rubber cushioned metal rims on the roadwheels, in order to economise on rubber and due to the increased weights.  And the French used inflatable or pneumatic tyres on the roadwheels (see the Lorraine 40t) to increase the compliance, and therefore comfort, of the suspension at the higher speeds the vehicles were capable of.  The Scorpion used pneumatic tyres in part to reduce weight.

Savage281 #12 Posted Mar 21 2016 - 11:48

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Forgive me, I didn't read previous responses, and I'm going to answer lol.

 

I'm a tanker with the US Army, and while I don't know the reason, my best guess would be sound reduction and perhaps shock absorption. As for how long they last, I've only had to replace a couple, including one that got stuck and ground off all the rubber on one side. My experience is with the Abrams, I've been around Leo 2's but never checked their road wheels. 



hoom #13 Posted Mar 22 2016 - 02:33

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Block Quote

 The Russians went to all metal wheels out of necessity, due to the increased weights of the heavy tanks like the KV-1, and due to a lack of materials, not to mention the extreme temperatures.

 Actually they moved the rubber into the hub/disk, yes mainly to reduce rubber use per-wheel but also reduced lifetime rubber wear as the rubber rims tend to wear-out

Germans did similar thing for Panther & KT too.


Edited by hoom, Mar 22 2016 - 02:34.


Walter_Sobchak #14 Posted Mar 22 2016 - 03:38

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It's worth pointing out that during WW2 most armies figured out that bigger roadwheels are better in terms of the lifespan of the rubber.  That's part of the reason the Germans went from the relatively small road wheels of the Panzer III and IV to the larger wheels of the big Cats.  Same with the Sherman, the smaller wheels had poor lifespans compared to later, larger wheeled designs such as the M26.  

RedBaronK #15 Posted Mar 22 2016 - 21:30

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Interesting stuff.. Always thought the rubber use during ww2 was mainly from jeeps, deuce and a halves, and other wheeled vehicles... Never thought tracked vehicles used it. 

ket101 #16 Posted Mar 23 2016 - 01:54

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View PostRedBaronK, on Mar 23 2016 - 06:30, said:

Interesting stuff.. Always thought the rubber use during ww2 was mainly from jeeps, deuce and a halves, and other wheeled vehicles... Never thought tracked vehicles used it. 

 

Lots of things used rubber.  For different reasons other than just transport, too.  Water and/or dust sealing, anti-vibration and other shock absorbing duties, electrical insulation, etc.

landshark_86 #17 Posted Oct 31 2016 - 13:35

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the last/rear road wheels loose rubber all the time. They take the brunt of turning and pivot stress.

In three weeks of desert training, the Bradley I was driving lost the rear road wheel rubber (on inner and out wheels) three times. on both the left and right side.



Capitaine_Triquet #18 Posted Nov 03 2016 - 09:36

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View Postlandshark_86, on Oct 31 2016 - 07:35, said:

the last/rear road wheels loose rubber all the time. They take the brunt of turning and pivot stress.

In three weeks of desert training, the Bradley I was driving lost the rear road wheel rubber (on inner and out wheels) three times. on both the left and right side.

 

So maybe a design as shown in the previous reply of this thread would be a solution for this particular problem of the Bradley.

 

https://postimg.org/image/o0x3mfy4l/

 

That problem you encountered is an engineering design problem.  Here are a plan and pic of the bradley.  Interesting problem to tackle.

 

Bradley layout plan (bare)

https://postimg.org/image/cajbgci99/

 

Bradley track pic (diagonal)

https://postimg.org/image/l5dpop8kf/

 

After some quick research, came up with something.

 

Solid nylon

https://postimg.org/image/5d2t01etn/

 

Instead of a steel ring around a rubber roller/wheel you can vulcanise a ring of solid nylon or solid polyester (depending vulcanisation possibility and reability of the material most suited for the job).  Since the tracks of the Bradley is made of solid rubber, a rubber roller/wheel creates a rubber on rubber resistance.  A solid nylon ring roller/wheel system would prevent this rubber on rubber resistance leading to roller/wheel premature wear and tear of the whole roller/wheel alignment of the tracks.

 

Then again a problem would arise of having small rocks, sand and other debris getting stuck in the polyester or nylon and the roller/wheel would desintegrate rapidly...  A steel ring would lead to wear and tear of the rubber tracks.

 

Not an easy task to resolve yet again if there is a problem there has to be a solution.

 

 


Edited by Capitaine_Triquet, Nov 03 2016 - 10:34.


Capitaine_Triquet #19 Posted Nov 03 2016 - 11:22

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View Postlandshark_86, on Oct 31 2016 - 07:35, said:

the last/rear road wheels loose rubber all the time. They take the brunt of turning and pivot stress.

In three weeks of desert training, the Bradley I was driving lost the rear road wheel rubber (on inner and out wheels) three times. on both the left and right side.

 

Made some quick thinking and I probably found the solution to this pesky roller/wheel problem the Bradley has.  Interesting, very interesting problem but probably a nightmare for the tank operators.  This problem impairs the tank efficiency on the battlefield.

 

I Personally despise thinking in a box.  I try to avoid boxed in ideas when I encounter a problem.

 

 

The best way to find a solution is to let it in your conscient mind the puzzling problem you are facing.  This problem will migrate into your subconscious mind and sit there for a while. Your subconscious mind will work on that problem until "kaboom" you have an ingenious idea popping into your conscient mind.

 

The subconscious mind is 30 000 times more powerful than the conscient mind.  It is worthy to let a problem sit for a while in your subconscious mind .  Your subconscious mind will work on that particular problem until the problem is solved or you will be guided to search for more information to solve the puzzling problem at hand.  Eventually and hopefully the solution will surface in your conscient mind.

 

https://66.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0v8j29POl1qkvbwso1_500.png

 

 


Edited by Capitaine_Triquet, Nov 03 2016 - 11:34.


Ie_Shima #20 Posted Apr 10 2017 - 22:17

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A bit of a necro here, but this reminded me of something I read somewhere. 

 

British troops near Singapore retreated from the sound of tanks.  Turns out it was a Japanese infantry platoon riding bikes on the rims, making them sound like tanks. 






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