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Technical Paper

Effects of Tractor and Trailer Torsional Compliance and Fill Level of Tanker Trailers on Rollover Propensity During Steady Cornering

Understanding the parameters which influence the tendency for a heavy truck to exhibit rollover is of paramount importance to the trucking industry. Multiple parameters influence the vehicle’s motion, and the ability to determine how each affects the vehicle as a system would be an indispensable tool for the design of such vehicles. To be able to perform such predictions and analysis, models and a computer simulation were created to allow the examination of changes in design parameters in such vehicles. The vehicle model was originally developed by Law [1] and presented in Law and Janajreh [2]. The model was extended further by Lawson [3, 4] to include (a) the effects of the torsional compliance of both the tractor and trailer, and (b) tanker trailers with various levels of liquid fill. In the present paper, both the tractor and trailer compliances were studied independently to determine their influences on the rollover stability of the vehicle.
Technical Paper

Optimization to Improve Lateral Stability of Tractor Semi-Trailers During Steady State Cornering

Decreasing the propensity for rollover during steady state cornering of tractor semi-trailers is a key advantage to the trucking industry. This will be referred to as “increasing the lateral stability during steady state cornering” and may be accomplished by changes in design and loading variables which influence the behavior of a vehicle. To better understand the effects of such changes, a computer program was written to optimize certain design variables and thus maximize the lateral acceleration where an incipient loss of lateral stability occurs. The vehicle model used in the present investigation extends that developed by Law [1] and presented in Law and Janajreh [2]. The original model included the effects of tire flexibility, nonlinear roll-compliant suspensions, and fifth wheel lash. This model was modified to include (a) additional effects of displacement due to both lateral and vertical tire flexibility, and (b) provisions for determining “off-tracking”.
Technical Paper

Effects of Tire and Vehicle Design Characteristics on Rollover of Tractor Semi-Trailers

Understanding the effects of tire and vehicle properties on the rollover propensity of tractor semi-trailer trucks is essential. The major objective of the project described by this paper was to develop a simplified computational tool that can be used to understand and predict the effects of various tire characteristics and truck design parameters on rollover under steady cornering and non-tripped conditions. In particular, this tool may be used to help understand the basic mechanisms governing rollover propensity of trucks equipped with New Generation Wide Single tires as contrasted with conventional tires. Effects of tire flexibility, roll-compliant suspensions, fifth - wheel lash and nonlinear suspension characteristics are included in the model and are presented below. Design parameter data used as input to the model were obtained from Michelin Americas Research and Development Corporation.
Journal Article

Aerodynamics of a Pickup Truck: Combined CFD and Experimental Study

This paper describes a computational and experimental effort to document the detailed flow field around a pickup truck. The major objective was to benchmark several different computational approaches through a series of validation simulations performed at Clemson University (CU) and overseen by those performing the experiments at the GM R&D Center. Consequently, no experimental results were shared until after the simulations were completed. This flow represented an excellent test case for turbulence modeling capabilities developed at CU. Computationally, three different turbulence models were employed. One steady simulation used the realizable k-ε model. The second approach was an unsteady RANS simulation, which included a turbulence closure model developed in-house. This simulation captured the unsteady shear layer rollup and breakdown over the front of the hood that was expected and seen in the experiments but unattainable with other off-the-shelf turbulence models.