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stabilisation of castor wheel
2

stabilisation of castor wheel

stabilisation of castor wheel

(OP)
Hello,
We have the following case. We have an electrical wheelchair with 2 driven wheels and 2 castor wheels. At the moment its maximum speed is 10 km/h. When we raise the speed, the castor wheels get out of balance and start to shake. We are looking for a solution to stabilize the castor wheels.
We are thinking about stabilizing it with a sort of rotational damping. We don't know if this already exists in simalar constructions. My question is if any one knows about this, if yes could you tell me where to find some more information about this.

The castor wheel is mounted in a bracket with a vertical shaft welded on. This shaft is mounted in 2 roller bearings.

Regards,
Sjoerd
 

RE: stabilisation of castor wheel

Would you consider changing the geometry of the castor to eliminate the problem?

Specifically you need to change the axis of rotation os that it is not vertical, and the intersection of the steering axis with the ground may need to be moved.

I think you will striggle to control it with a damper, although motorbikes sometimes do, using a little friction damper or a hydraulic unit. So check out motorcycle steering dampers.



Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: stabilisation of castor wheel

This is the supermarket shopping trolley effect.

Am I right in thinking you control steering by changing the speeds of two separate drive motors (one for each driven wheel)?
I which case you need the other two wheels to caster fully through 360 degrees, which in turn requires the vertical steering axis.

Have you tried pneumatic tyres for the caster wheels? This might provide some damping on its own.

Most motorcycle friction dampers are linear units attached to brackets on the frame and front suspension legs, and are only suitable for a limited amount of steering.

It sounds like you want to try a fully rotary damper, with perhaps a rotating vane in a pot of grease or oil.
I have no idea if such a damper is commercially available, but it should be fairly easy to fabricate a prototype to see if it helps.

RE: stabilisation of castor wheel

I used to have a rotary friction plate damper on my motorbike, so they definitely exist.

Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: stabilisation of castor wheel

Caster wheels with a different amount of trail?  Or different wheel composition?

Norm

RE: stabilisation of castor wheel

(OP)
The two caster wheels have the same amount of trail and have the same composition.

Sjoerd

RE: stabilisation of castor wheel

I didn't intend to imply that they currently differ from side to side (guess I posted a little too quickly and with too little proofing re how it might be interpreted).

How about changing those parameters?

Norm

RE: stabilisation of castor wheel

(OP)
Thanks all for your reactions!
We may have found a supplier who could provide us with a rotary damper. We will also do some tests with changing trail.

Regards,

Sjoerd

RE: stabilisation of castor wheel

I did not know where castor shimmy came from (still don't actually) but below cliped from a web site.

2: Castor assembly (front wheel) (see figure 2)
a. To minimise rolling resistance the castor stem should be perpendicular to the
ground. Also if the castor stem is not in an angle of 90 degrees with the ground
you will notice that the front part of the wheelchair will go up or down when
turning the wheelchair.
b. The castor fork is bent backwards. This bending provides how big the castor trail
will be (see figure 3). When castor shimmy appears the castor trail is not big
enough. The manoeuvrability of the wheelchair depends on the castor trail but it
is not possible to define an optimal position.

RE: stabilisation of castor wheel

Well, it is possible to define the optimum trail, so long as you know the tyre characteristics.

In this case you don't, admittedly, but that statement is not true in the general case.

Cheers

Greg Locock

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