Hydroplaning in its pure sense occurs infrequently. Thus, many feel that this fact implies that the study of hydroplaning can be of little practical importance. The error in this argument is revealed by demonstrating the applicability of results gained in the study of hydroplaning to the understanding of the general problem of wet traction. A description is given of the mathematical techniques that have recently been developed to assist in the study of hydroplaning (and wet traction). It is shown that these allow a unified theory to be presented for the major forms of hydroplaning — viscous and dynamic. A review of current research techniques including the use of moirÉ fringes to measure the fluid film thickness distribution under a hydroplaning tire is given, and directions are indicated for needed future research.
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