Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-3708
1999-11-15

A Finite Element Modeling Approach for Stability Analysis of Partially Filled Tanker Trucks 1999-01-3708

The rollover threshold for a partially filled tanker truck carrying fluid cargo is of great importance due to the catastrophic nature of accidents involving such vehicles, particularly when payloads are toxic and flammable.
In this paper, a method for determining the threshold of rollover stability of a specific tanker truck is presented using finite element analysis methods. This approach allows the consideration of many variables which had not been fully incorporated in past models, including nonlinear spring behavior and tank flexibility.
The program uses simple mechanical pendulums to simulate the fluid sloshing affects, beam elements to match the torsional and bending stiffness of the tank, and spring damper elements to simulate the suspension.
The finite element model of the tanker truck has been validated using data taken by the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) on a M916A1 tractor/ Etnyre model 60PRS 6000 gallon trailer combination. ATC tested the actual tanker truck both statically and dynamically to provide data as inputs for the finite element model. The output from the computer model corroborates the real truck measurements, thus validating the method of analysis. The approach will be expanded to include a double lane change derived from a cycloidal path.

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