Delay effects in shimmy dynamics of wheels with stretched string-like tyres

Dénes Takács, Gábor Orosz, Gábor Stépán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)


The dynamics of wheel shimmy is studied when the self-excited vibrations are related to the elasticity of the tyre. The tyre is described by a classical stretched string model, so the tyre-ground contact patch is approximated by a contact line. The lateral deformation of this line is given via a nonholonomic constraint, namely, the contact points stick to the ground, i.e., they have zero velocities. The mathematical form of this constraint is a partial differential equation (PDE) with boundary conditions provided by the relaxation of deformation outside the contact region. This PDE is coupled to an integro-differential equation (IDE), which governs the lateral motion of the wheel. Although the conventional stationary creep force idea is not used here, the coupled PDE-IDE system can still be handled analytically. It can be rewritten as a delay differential equation (DDE) by assuming travelling wave solutions for the deformation of the contact line. This DDE expresses the intrinsic memory effect of the elastic tyre. The linear stability charts and the corresponding numerical simulations of the nonlinear system reveal periodic and quasi-periodic self-excited oscillations that are also confirmed by simple laboratory experiments. The observed quasi-periodic vibrations cannot be explained in single degree-of-freedom wheel models subject to a creep force.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-525
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Mechanics, A/Solids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2009


  • Delay
  • Hopf bifurcation
  • Relaxation length
  • Shimmy
  • Travelling wave solution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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