Tire chains are used to help vehicles get through especially heavy or dense snow on the road. Usually tire chains are used in mountainous areas that see a lot of snow throughout the winter. So how do they work? It’s actually pretty simple. Traction and wheel spin are the two factors at play here.
Tire chains wrap around the tread of the tires and latch tightly to prevent them from slipping. Basically, they allow the tires to get a better grip on snow and ice covered roads, giving the vehicle more traction and better control. Different size chains are manufactured for different tire sizes, so make sure to get the right size. Using the wrong size tire chains can damage your tires.
In addition to gaining traction by biting into the snowy surface, tire chains also increase traction by preventing wheel spin. Wheel spin happens when the force delivered to the tire tread via the engine is greater than the tread-to-surface friction available, which makes the tires lose traction.
Tire chains are very useful for driving through the snow, but they do carry certain restrictions. You shouldn’t go faster than 30pmh when driving with tire chains. In addition, driving on bare asphalt with tire chains can shorten their lifespan.
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