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


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Anlushac11 #21 Posted Apr 18 2017 - 14:56

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I remember reading that T-34's started with rubber rimmed road wheels. As war progressed the Soviets moved to steel rimmed road wheels on the T-34.

 

This was found to cause noise, vibration, and harshness problems such as premature track wear, transmission problems, and engine problems. The fix was to run rubber rimmed road wheels on first and last wheel positions and steel rimmed road wheels in the center three positions.


Edited by Anlushac11, Apr 18 2017 - 14:57.


Shrike58 #22 Posted Apr 18 2017 - 15:18

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Since we're on the topic I've always wondered about the full-fledged tires on Lorraine 40t.

FrozenKemp #23 Posted Apr 20 2017 - 16:06

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Hmm, I'm not sure about the Lorraine

 

Towards the end of the war Germany produced some all-steel wheeled Panthers, I presume because they had a rubber shortage. 



BillT #24 Posted Apr 28 2017 - 20:17

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View PostFrozenKemp, on Apr 20 2017 - 10:06, said:

Towards the end of the war Germany produced some all-steel wheeled Panthers, I presume because they had a rubber shortage. 

 

You see a lot of photos of the JgPz IV with steel-rimmed wheels in front and rubber-rimmed wheels elsewhere.   The extra armor and bigger gun made the tank nose-heavy and the rubber rims just couldn't take it -- they wore out quickly.  The steel-rimmed wheels still had an internal rubber layer, but it was sturdier.

 

Here's a good photo:

 

http://www.missing-l...70/Image415.jpg

 



BillT #25 Posted Apr 28 2017 - 20:22

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View PostShrike58, on Apr 18 2017 - 09:18, said:

Since we're on the topic I've always wondered about the full-fledged tires on Lorraine 40t.

 

It saved a lot of weight compared to steel wheels.

Kenshin2kx #26 Posted Apr 28 2017 - 20:28

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View Postket101, on Mar 20 2016 - 20:35, said:

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.

 

... also, as a side note, the road wheels for vehicles of Christie influence, had the design capacity to remove the tracks, in favor of a direct road wheel to pavement arrangement ... the logic being that the rubber cushioned wheels were be better suited to urban settings/areas with paved roads (where the metal on pavement) would tend to damage/destroy both the track and roadway with regular usage.

BillT #27 Posted Apr 28 2017 - 20:57

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View PostRedBaronK, on Mar 21 2016 - 01:22, said:

 

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

 

SOME tanks.  Not many.  This was a thing between WWI and WWII, when tracks were unreliable and had short life-spans.   People came up with lots of ideas that could let a tank travel outside a combat zone without wearing out its tracks. The Italian tankettes like the CV33. for instance, could be hauled on a light flatbed truck.  Several nations toyed with "wheel-cum-track" designs where the tank had sets of rubber-tired wheels at the front and back that could be lowered to raise the tank off its tracks.  It could then drive around roads on the rubber tires:

 

https://www.google.c...iw=1264&bih=661

 

The most successful was the Christie "convertible" method.  For road travel you could remove the tracks so the tank ran on its large, rubber-rimmed road wheels.  The front road wheel was steerable, and the rear road wheel was connected by chain to the drive sprocket so it got power  The tracks weren't so heavy as to make it difficult to remove and replace them, and you could get very high road speeds.  Here are some pictures of the Christie T3, some of them showing it with tracks off:
https://www.google.c...iw=1264&bih=661


If the T3 looks familiar, that's because the Russians bought the design and it became their BT-2, which led to the BT-5 and BT-7, and which influenced the T-34.   The convertible feature was retained on these even though the Russians rarely used it -- mostly for lack of paved roads.  Even the A-20 prototype could remove its tracks for road running, but the A-32 and T-34 abandoned this.

 

This page has a photo of a BT-7M with the tracks removed:
http://www.tanks-enc...soviet_BT-7.php

 

In general, the idea of convertible tanks became irrelevant when track life was improved.  Too, Europe's rail networks made it easy to move tanks by train to anywhere you needed them, saving wear on the tracks AND the engine/transmission. The job of moving fast on roads was given to armored cars, and increasing weight of tanks put too much strain on suspension systems to allow fancy features like convertibility.






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