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Technical Paper

Simulator Study of Heavy Truck Air Disc Brake Effectiveness During Emergency Braking

In crashes between heavy trucks and light vehicles, most of the fatalities are the occupants of the light vehicle. A reduction in heavy truck stopping distance should lead to a reduction in the number of crashes, the severity of crashes, and consequently the numbers of fatalities and injuries. This study made use of the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS). NADS is a full immersion driving simulator used to study driver behavior as well as driver-vehicle reactions and responses. The vehicle dynamics model of the existing heavy truck on NADS had been modified with the creation of two additional brake models. The first was a modified S-cam (larger drums and shoes) and the second was an air-actuated disc brake system. A sample of 108 CDL-licensed drivers was split evenly among the simulations using each of the three braking systems. The drivers were presented with four different emergency stopping situations.
Technical Paper

Effects of ABS Controller Parameters on Heavy Truck Model Braking Performance

This paper covers research conducted at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC) examining the performance of semitrailer anti-lock braking systems (ABS). For this study, a vehicle dynamics model was constructed for the combination of a 4×2 tractor and a 48-foot trailer, using TruckSim. ABS models for the tractor and trailer, as well as brake dynamics and surface friction models, were created in Simulink so that the effect of varying ABS controller parameters and configurations on semitrailer braking performance could be studied under extreme braking maneuvers. The longitudinal and lateral performances of this tractor-trailer model were examined for a variety of different trailer ABS controller models, including the 2s1m, 4s2m, and 4s4m configurations. Also, alternative controllers of the same configuration were studied by varying the parameters of the 2s1m controller.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Heavy Truck Foundation Brake Performance Measured with an Inertia Brake Dynamometer and Analyses of Brake Output Responses to Dynamic Pressure Inputs

In support of NHTSA's studies of heavy truck brake types and their effects on vehicle stopping performance and stability, the NHTSA Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC) has evaluated four foundation brake types on their Greening Brake Dynamometer. Several sample assemblies of each type of brake were tested to better understand variability. Braking tests were run under the “Laboratory Test Procedure for FMVSS 121D Air Brake Systems - Dynamometer” (TP- 121D-01) procedures. Afterward, the test scope was expanded to include higher speeds and higher severity conditions than those specified Test Procedure. This paper reports on the differences in braking effectiveness between two traditional S-Cam air brake types and two recently introduced Air Disc brake types. Burnish procedure trends are briefly discussed and compared. Responses of the pneumatic brakes to both constant-pressure and dynamic inputs are also compared and discussed.
Technical Paper

Refinements of a Heavy Truck ABS Model

In 2004, a model of a 6s6m ABS controller was developed in order to support NHTSA's efforts in the study of heavy truck braking performance. This model was developed using Simulink and interfaced with TruckSim, a vehicle dynamics software package, in order to create an accurate braking simulation of a 6×4 Peterbilt straight truck. For this study, the vehicle model braking dynamics were improved and the ABS controller model was refined. Also, the controller was made adaptable to ABS configurations other than 6s6m, such as 4s4m and 4s3m. Controller models were finally validated to experimental data from the Peterbilt truck, gathered at NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC).
Technical Paper

The Effects of Foundation Brake Configuration on Class-8 Tractor Dry Stopping Performance

This paper discusses dry stopping performance comparisons of various foundation brake systems on Class-8 truck tractors (having a GVWR greater than 33,000 lbs.). For these studies, four configurations of foundation brakes were fitted to two modern 6x4 conventional truck tractors without modification to the control, application, or ABS systems. Foundation brakes compared include standard S-cam drum brakes on all six positions, high-output S-cam drum and then air disc brakes on the steer axles, and air disc brakes on all six brake positions. Discussions include analyses of stopping distance from 60 mph (96.6 kph) for all test conditions. The truck tractors were tested in two weight configurations, LLVW (i.e., bobtail) and GVWR (50,000 lbs. total axle weight, using an unbraked control semitrailer).
Technical Paper

Air Disc and S-Cam Brake Stopping Performance Comparison for Class 8 Tractor and Trailer Combinations

In an effort to reduce the dry stopping distance required for heavy trucks, it is imperative to increase the effectiveness of the foundation brake systems. Where brakes are torque limited, increasing the brake output can be obtained by increasing brake size, chamber size, slack length, and friction of the braking materials. Looking just at the aspect of foundation brakes, the majority of current tractor and trailer brakes are of the S-Cam and Drum type. Two commercially available alternatives that produce higher output are Air Disc brakes and larger sized S-Cam brakes. Using one type, or a combination of these brakes (discs and drums on different axles) warrants a comparative study. The goal is to improve the effectiveness of the brake system, while maintaining or improving upon vehicle stability during braking. NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center recently completed a brake test study of the effectiveness and stability characteristics of tractor and trailer combinations.