1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Accelerating a car including the moment of inertia of the wheels

  1. Nov 2, 2017 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A car accelerates from rest on a horizontal surface. The engine provides a
    torque of τ = 200 Nm on each of the two front wheels. Each of the four
    wheels on the car weigh m = 15 kg, have radius R = 0.35 m and can be
    considered solid, uniform discs. The rest of the car (not the wheels) has a mass
    of M = 1000 kg.

    What is the acceleration of the car?

    2. Relevant equations
    I = 1/2mR2
    τ = F*R
    τ = I*α
    a = α*R

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I can find the frictional force at one of the wheels:
    Ff = τ/R

    I can find the α of a wheel:
    α = Ff*R/I
    That means a = Ff*R2/I

    Not much, but i'm not very good at this, really need help.
    I don't know how to combine the body as well as the wheels. Anyone has some tips please? :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2017 #2

    TSny

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Welcome to PF!

    You will need to decide how many torques act on an individual front wheel and how many act on an individual rear wheel. In the formula τ = I*α, τ is the net torque acting on a wheel.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  4. Nov 2, 2017 #3
    Thanks for the welcome :)

    I'm thinking that the two back wheels get their torque from the ground while the two front wheels get the torque from the engine.
    Can i do 2*Ff/4 to find the torque at every wheel?
     
  5. Nov 2, 2017 #4

    TSny

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The front wheels interact with the ground, too. Draw a free body diagram for each wheel.
    No. Your free body diagrams should help.
     
  6. Nov 2, 2017 #5
    I made one in paint only, for now.
    If the frame is accelerating, then we have a fictitious force. If the frame is inertial, then we only have that one force from the front wheels that makes the car accelerate. The other forces sum up to 0, it's the gravitational force and normal forces.

    In the accelerating frame, we should have zero net force so Ff-Ffictitious=0
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Nov 2, 2017 #6

    TSny

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    There is no need to go to the accelerating frame of the car. You can stick with the inertial frame of the earth.

    Instead of drawing a force diagram for the entire car, draw a force diagram for one of the front wheels and draw a separate force diagram for one of the rear wheels.

    ------------------------------

    An alternate approach is to use energy concepts for linear and rotational motion. This approach will yield the answer more quickly, but I don't know if you've studied these concepts yet.
     
  8. Nov 2, 2017 #7
    I made pictures with torque and friction, do they look familiar?

    I know 1/2*I*ω2 and 1/2*m*v2 for kinetic energy.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  9. Nov 2, 2017 #8

    TSny

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The diagram for the front wheel needs a little clarification. There would be forces on the wheel in the vertical direction that you did not show. The friction force appears to be in the correct direction if you are thinking of the car as moving to the right.

    What does the arrow labeled by T represent? Arrows on a free body diagram indicate forces. Is T a force?

    The diagram for the rear wheel also has the correct direction for the friction. But, again, I'm not sure what the arrow with the T represents. There are also some vertical forces acting on this wheel.

    Does the friction force on one of the front wheels necessarily equal the friction force on one of the real wheels? If not, then you should use different symbols for these forces.
     
  10. Nov 2, 2017 #9

    TSny

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The first equation is not correct. The "m" should be replaced by what?

    Otherwise, OK.

    Do you know a formula for the work done by a torque?
     
  11. Nov 2, 2017 #10
    Oh, sorry, there should be an I instead of m. I edited the original post.

    I fixed the wheel diagrams to be more clear now, right is positive movement.

    I know power is τ*ω so work would be τ*Δθ?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Nov 2, 2017 #11

    TSny

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    OK, great. All you need now is the fundamental theorem that relates work to energy.
     
  13. Nov 2, 2017 #12

    TSny

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    They look pretty good now. For the front wheel, you should indicate that there is a torque applied by the engine. This could be a curved arrow labeled by τ where the arrow is clockwise or counterclockwise (you decide).

    But, if you get the energy equation set up correctly, then you will not actually need these diagrams.
     
  14. Nov 2, 2017 #13
    I have my last pictures ready now. Thank you for the help :)

    So, the theorem says ΔK=W
    It's getting late, so i will try getting the energy equation tomorrow.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Nov 2, 2017 #14

    TSny

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Ok,sounds good.

    Your diagrams look correct. But I recommend using different notations for the friction forces on the front and rear wheels.
     
  16. Nov 2, 2017 #15
    How would you solve this problem using forces and torques?
     
  17. Nov 3, 2017 #16
    Thanks for the help, appreciated! :smile:
    I ended up with: $$a = \frac {2τ} {R(M+6m)}$$

    Would it be possible to use the impulse-momentum theorem?
    I'm also interested in how to do it using forces, like the above guy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  18. Nov 3, 2017 #17

    TSny

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    That's similar to what I get, but I do not agree with the factor of 6 in the denominator. Can you show the steps in your work?

    I don't see any advantage in using this theorem. It is essentially equivalent to F = ma.
    From your diagrams, set up ∑τ = Iα for the front and rear wheels. Also, set up F = ma for the car as a whole.
     
  19. Nov 5, 2017 #18
    I started with:
    2τΔθ = 1/2Mv2 + 4*1/2mv2 + 4*1/2Iω2
    then
    v2 = 2τΔθ/(1/2)M+3m

    Next i have to multiply the denominator by 2(xf-xi)=2RΔθ, that's what gives me the factor of 6. Did you get the factor of 3 earlier?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  20. Nov 5, 2017 #19

    TSny

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    OK. When I solved the problem I used M for the total mass of the car including the 4 wheels. But the problem clearly states that M does not include the 4 wheels o:). As a consequence, I had a factor of 2 where you have a factor of 6.

    Your answer is correct with the factor of 6. Sorry for the mistake.
     
  21. Nov 5, 2017 #20
    Alright! Thanks.

    About using torques and forces method. I thought this:
    2Ffront - 2Frear = a(M + 4m)
    But what would be the torques?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Accelerating a car including the moment of inertia of the wheels
Loading...