An experimental investigation of rolling resistance

Lasse Sønderskov Hansen & Morten Lau Larsen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This report centres around an experimental setup build to measure the rolling resistance of solid wheels as a part of the Danish research project ROSE (ROads Saving Energy). A large part of the work was to optimize the setup in order to improve the reproducibility and reliability of the experimental results. During our work we have made several changes to the setup to improve the setup.

The setup is used to make a systematic investigation of how the rolling resistance depends on different parameters. We measure the rolling resistance of two solid wheels, one made of polyurethane and the other of nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR). The experiments are performed with three different surface textures - one made of milled steel, and two made of different grits of sandpaper - at various loads and speeds.

The experimental results show that the rolling resistance coefficient increases slightly with the load. We found that speed has a much greater influence on the rolling resistance than what has been reported for pneumatic tyres in the literature. Finally it was found that the NBR wheel has the highest rolling resistance compared to polyurethane, and that the rolling resistance increases with the particle size of the surface texture.

Along with the experimental work, a simple model was developed for the rolling resistance of a solid wheel. The model is mostly unable to predict the tendencies prominent in the experimental results. The model predicts that the rolling resistance coefficient should be proportional to the load, but that is not what the results show. It also fails to predict any speed dependence of the rolling resistance.

UddannelserFysik, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato28 sep. 2017
Antal sider107
VejledereTina Hecksher


  • rullemodstand
  • hjul
  • eksperiment
  • strain gauge
  • fysik
  • #lasseersej