Tire Traction of Commercial Vehicles on Icy Roads 2014-01-2292
Safety and minimal transit time are vital during transportation of essential commodities and passengers, especially in winter conditions. Icy roads are the worst driving conditions with the least available friction, leaving valuable cargo and precious human lives at stake. The study investigates the available friction at the tire-ice interface due to changes in key operational parameters. Experimental analysis of tractive performance of tires on ice was carried out indoor, using the terramechanics rig located at the Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory (AVDL) at Virginia Tech. The friction-slip ratio curves obtained from indoor testing were inputted into TruckSIM, defining tire behavior for various ice scenarios and then simulating performance of trucks on ice. The shortcomings of simulations in considering the effects of all the operational parameters result in differences between findings of indoor testing and truck performance simulations. Thus, the need for state-of-the-art tire-ice models capable of predicting accurate friction levels taking into account all operational conditions becomes evident. Advanced simulation models reduce the heavy cost involved in experimental studies. A thorough understanding of the operational factors on braking and tractive performance of commercial vehicles with the aid of simulations and experiments will lead to specialized tire designs and safety systems for commercial vehicles operating on ice.