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Technical Paper

The Causal Relationship between Wheel Rim Gouging Forces on Roadway Surfaces and Rollover Crashes

There has been a general consensus in the scientific literature that a rim gouging, not scraping, into a roadway surface generates very high forces which can cause a vehicle to overturn in some situations. However, a paper published in 2004 attempts to minimize the forces created during wheel rim gouging and the effect on vehicle rollover. This paper relied largely on heavily filtered lateral acceleration data and discounted additional test runs by the authors and NHTSA that did not support the supposed conclusions. This paper will discuss the effect of rim gouging using accepted scientific methods, including full vehicle testing where vehicle accelerations were measured during actual rim gouging events and static testing of side forces exerted by wheels mounted on a moving test fixture. The data analyzed in this paper clearly shows that forces created by rim gouges on pavement can be thousands of Newtons and can contribute to vehicle rollover.
Technical Paper

Technical Analysis of Severe Cornering Induced Tire Wear on Vehicle Limit Handling through Repeatable On-Track Vehicle Testing

In repeated physical testing of vehicles at or near their handling limit, tire shoulder wear occurs that is not typical of normal customer use. It has been observed for decades that this type of severe cornering induced tire wear can have a significant effect on the force and moment characteristics of tires. In this study, the severe cornering wear effect was studied by testing vehicles in a highly controlled manner using a robot steering controller. This testing shows how vehicle response to the exact same steering input changes significantly as the number of runs on the same tires accumulates. In fact, vehicles were found to not lift tires from the ground in initial runs then tip-up hard onto outriggers in later runs as the tires are abraded. Additionally, for one vehicle configuration an additional run was made with tires that had accumulated 16,000 km (10,000 miles) of normal customer usage.
Technical Paper

A Technical Analysis of a Proposed Theory on Tire Tread Belt Separation-Induced Axle Tramp

Recently, papers have been published purporting to study the effect of rear axle tramp during tread separation events, and its effect on vehicle handling [1, 2]. Based on analysis and physical testing, one paper [1] has put forth a mathematical model which the authors claim allows vehicle designers to select shock damping values during the development process of a vehicle in order to assure that a vehicle will not experience axle tramp during tread separations. In the course of their work, “lumpy” tires (tires with rubber blocks adhered to the tire's tread) were employed to excite the axle tramp resonance, even though this method has been shown not to duplicate the physical mechanisms behind an actual tread belt separation. This paper evaluates the theories postulated in [1] by first analyzing the equations behind the mathematical model presented. The model is then tested to see if it agrees with observed physical testing.
Technical Paper

Comparative Dynamic Analysis of Tire Tread Belt Detachments and Stepped Diameter (“Lumpy”) Tires

In this study, tests were performed with modified tires at the right rear location on a solid axle sport utility vehicle to compare vehicle inputs and responses from both: (1) staged tire tread belt detachments, and (2) stepped diameter (“lumpy”) tires. Lumpy tires consist of equal size sections of tread that are vulcanized at equidistant locations around the outer circumference of the tire casing. Some have used lumpy tires in attempt to model the force and displacement inputs created by a tire tread belt separation. Four configurations were evaluated for the lumpy tires: 1-Lump, 2-Lump (2 lengths), and 3-Lump.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Response Comparison to Tire Tread Separations Induced by Circumferentially Cut and Distressed Tires

In this study, tests were performed with modified tires at the right rear location on a solid rear axle sport utility vehicle to compare the vehicle inputs from both: (1) tire tread belt detachments staged by circumferentially cut tires, and (2) a tire tread detachment staged by distressing a tire in a laboratory environment. The forces and moments that transfer through the road wheel were measured at the right and left rear wheel locations using wheel force transducers; displacements were measured between the rear axle and the frame at the shock absorber mounting locations, ride height displacements were measured at the four corners of the vehicle, and accelerations were measured on the rear axle. Onboard vehicle accelerations and velocities were measured as well. The data shows that the tire tread belt detachments prepared by circumferentially cut tires and distressed tires have similar inputs to the vehicle.
Journal Article

The True Definition and Measurement of Oversteer and Understeer

The concept of vehicle understeer and oversteer has been well studied and equations, test methods, and test results have been published for many decades. This concept has a specific definition in the steady-state driving range as opposed to quantification in highly transient limit handling events. There have been specific test procedures developed and employed by automotive engineers for decades on how to quantify understeer. These include the constant radius method, the constant steering wheel angle/variable speed method, the constant speed/ variable radius method, and the constant speed/variable steer method. These methods are very good for calculating the understeer gradient but care must be taken in interpreting the result at the limits of tire traction since lateral tire forces can be reduced on a drive axle when significant throttle is applied.
Journal Article

Technical Analysis of a Proposed Shock Absorber Design Standard

One important part of the vehicle design process is suspension design and tuning. This is typically performed by design engineers, experienced expert evaluators, and assistance from vehicle dynamics engineers and their computer simulation tools. Automotive suspensions have two primary functions: passenger and cargo isolation and vehicle control. Suspension design, kinematics, compliance, and damping, play a key role in those primary functions and impact a vehicles ride, handling, steering, and braking dynamics. The development and tuning of a vehicle kinematics, compliance, and damping characteristic is done by expert evaluators who perform a variety of on road evaluations under different loading configurations and on a variety of road surfaces. This “tuning” is done with a focus on meeting certain target characteristics for ride, handling, and steering One part of this process is the development and tuning of the damping characteristics of the shock absorbers.