Tire studs are small metal protrusions inserted into winter tires to improve tire-road friction in snow or ice conditions.
The typical studded tire is a winter tire with between 60 and 120 inserted small metal studs. These studs are usually made of tungsten carbide (an extremely hard metal), weigh 1.7 – 1.9 grams each and protrude about 1.2 – 1.5 mm from the tire surface. Studs are made by embedding a small metal “jacket” into the tire then inserting a tungsten carbide pin into the jacket.
This pin is tapered so that it will move back into the jacket when the dynamic forces acting on it reach a certain critical level. If this subtle stud movement is properly calibrated the result is a tire stud that maintains a near-constant protrusion length even as the rest of the tire wears down. This type of stud is called a controlled protrusion (CP) stud.
As studded tires increase traction on icy surfaces, tire studs is more necessary for winter cars and racing cars.
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