Optimization of Nonpneumatic Tire with Hexagonal Lattice Spokes for Reducing Rolling Resistance 2015-01-1515
Due to the relatively high freedom of selection of materials associated with a simple manufacturing method, a nonpneumatic tire (NPT) can be manufactured with a low viscoelastic energy loss material. A highly increasing demand to reduce greenhouse gases drives engineers to explore NPTs. NPTs consisting of flexible spokes and the shear band are still at an early stage of research and development. An optimization study of NPTs' geometry needs to be conducted, which is the objective of this paper. Parametric studies and design of experiments (DOE) of an NPT are conducted with a hyper-viscoelastic finite element (FE) model to determine the effects of three design variables on rolling resistance: the thickness of cellular spokes, the cell angle, and the shear band thickness. Considering vehicle load carrying capacity and riding comfort, ranges of vertical deflection between 18 and 20mm and contact pressure between 0.6 and 0.8MPa are selected as constraints for the optimization. A response surface model (RSM) is generated from DOE and is used to find the optimum design values for minimizing rolling resistance of an NPT under the constraints. Finite element simulations with the optimized NPT geometry are carried out for validation of the optimization. The optimized design parameters reduce rolling resistance of our initial NPT configuration by 15% when a vertical load increases up to 4,000N.