Identification of the Mechanical Properties of Tires for Wheelchair Simulation

Alberto Doria1, *, Luca Taraborrelli1, Tarek Jomaa1, Tom Peijs2, Mario Potter2, Sunjoo Advani2, Larry Crichlow3
1 Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, Via Venezia 1, 35131, Padova, Italy
2 International Development of Technology B.V., Waterviolier 15, 4823 MA, Breda, The Netherlands
3 Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, 550 University Avenue, M5G 2A2, Toronto, ON, Canada

© Doria et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, Via Venezia 1, 35131, Padova, Italy; Tel: +39 0498276803; Fax: +39 049 8277599; E-mail:


The development of high performance wheelchairs and wheelchair simulators requires dynamic models taking into account the properties of tires. In this paper the properties of two wheelchair tires are measured by means of a rotating disc testing machine and are compared with the properties of bicycle tires, which have similar dimensions and structure. Tests are carried out considering variations in speed, inflation pressure and load. The possibility of fitting experimental results with the Magic Formula, the Dugoff formula and a linear model is discussed. A dynamic model of a wheelchair is developed, which includes a linear tire model derived from experimental results. Steady turning and slalom manoeuvres are simulated. Numerical results show the effect of tire properties on the handling characteristics of the wheelchair.

Keywords: Tire, Wheelchair, Handling, Rotating disc testing machine, Linear tire model.