Effect of Terrain Roughness on the Roll and Yaw Directional Stability of an Articulated Frame Steer Vehicle 2013-01-2366
Compared to the vehicles with conventional steering, the articulated frame steer vehicles (ASV) are known to exhibit lower directional and roll stability limits. Furthermore, the tire interactions with relatively rough terrains could adversely affect the directional and roll stability limits of an ASV due to terrain-induced variations in the vertical and lateral tire forces. It may thus be desirable to assess the dynamic safety of ASVs in terms of their directional control and stability limits while operating on different terrains. The effects of terrain roughness on the directional stability limits of an ASV are investigated through simulations of a comprehensive three-dimensional model of the vehicle with and without a rear axle suspension. The model incorporates a torsio-elastic rear axle suspension, a kineto-dynamic model of the frame steering struts and equivalent random profiles of different undeformable terrains together with coherence between the two tracks profiles. The simulations are performed to determine the stability limits of the ASV models while operating on different terrains, namely: a perfectly smooth surface, plowed field, pasture, gravel road, and the MVEE random course. The directional stability limits are defined in terms of the static and dynamic rollover thresholds, rearward amplification ratio, and critical speed corresponding to snaking instability under steady and transient steering inputs. The results suggest that the tire interactions with the rough terrains affect the stability limits of both the unsuspended and suspended vehicles in a highly adverse manner. The suspended vehicle responses, however, show less sensitivity to variations in the road roughness profile.