A typical wheel used on a roller coaster is constructed by acquisition an aluminum hub and bonding a polyurethane tires to the hub’s external diameter. This entire “wheel assembly” is then associated to the axle v a bearing. There are three main types of wheel which for sure the car to the track: roadway wheels bear the pack or load of the train, side friction wheels are an installed perpendicular to the road wheels (on either the within or the outside of the rail depending on the manufacturer) and up-stop wheels are inserted under the rail to prevent the automobile from coming off the track end airtime hills.

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A roller coaster’s wheels may actually be one of the best limiting components of building ever taller and also faster rides. To design the perfect wheel for a high-speed roller coaster, engineers must discover the best combination of these four main requirements:

Low rojo resistanceHigh load enduranceSmooth journey performanceHigh durability (low maintenance cost)

Let’s research each the these demands in an ext detail.

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Most stole roller coasters today typically use 2 main types of tires material: nylon and also polyurethane. Over there are benefits and disadvantages because that each type. The nylon wheel is a tough plastic when the polyurethane is a softer material. Nylon wheel vibrate a little more and put much more wear right into the track, making that a rougher ride but additionally results in a little bit faster of a ride. Polyurethane is a softer material and reduces the vibration, providing a smoother ride. That provides an ext friction and also slows the drive down as result of a higher rolling resistance. The speed of the coaster can be affected by mixing and matching wheels, i beg your pardon parks may do in order to keep the ride running within its stated performance window. To accomplish a perfect balance between all of the demanding needs requires a the majority of testing.

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To read an ext about coaster architecture check out Coasters 101: an Engineer’s overview to Roller Coaster Design.