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Technical Paper

Adaptation of TruckSim Models to Simulate Experimental Heavy Truck Hard Braking Test Data Under Various Levels of Brake Disablement

This research focuses on the development and performance of analytical models to simulate a tractor-semitrailer in straight-ahead braking. The simulations were modified and tuned to simulate full-treadle braking with all brakes functioning correctly, as well as the behavior of the tractor-semitrailer rig under full braking with selected brakes disabled. The models were constructed in TruckSim and based on a tractor-semitrailer used in dry braking performance testing. The full-scale vehicle braking research was designed to define limits for engineering estimates on stopping distance when Class 8 air-braked vehicles experience partial degradation of the foundation brake system. In the full scale testing, stops were conducted from 30 mph and 60 mph, with the combination loaded to 80,000 lbs (gross combined weight or GCW), half payload, and with the tractor-semitrailer unladen (lightly loaded vehicle weight, or LLVW).
Technical Paper

Spot Weld Failure Analysis for Accident Reconstruction

Adequacy of resistance spot welds in low carbon steels in relation to structural integrity can become an issue in the reconstruction of automotive accidents. Because formation of a plug (or button or slug) in a peel test is used as a quality control criterion for welds, it is sometimes assumed conversely that a weld which failed is defective if no plug is present. Spot welds do not necessarily form a plug when fractured. Fracture behavior of spot welds both by overload and fatigue is reviewed. Then techniques for examination of field failures are discussed. Finally two case histories are discussed.
Technical Paper

Validation and Enhancement of a Heavy Truck Simulation Model with an Electronic Stability Control Model

Validation was performed on an existing heavy truck vehicle dynamics computer model with roll stability control (RSC). The first stage in this validation was to compare the response of the simulated tractor to that of the experimental tractor. By looking at the steady-state gains of the tractor, adjustments were made to the model to more closely match the experimental results. These adjustments included suspension and steering compliances, as well as auxiliary roll moment modifications. Once the validation of the truck tractor was completed for the current configuration, the existing 53-foot box trailer model was added to the vehicle model. The next stage in experimental validation for the current tractor-trailer model was to incorporate suspension compliances and modify the auxiliary roll stiffness to more closely model the experimental response of the vehicle. The final validation stage was to implement some minor modifications to the existing RSC model.
Journal Article

Integration of a Torsional Stiffness Model into an Existing Heavy Truck Vehicle Dynamics Model

Torsional stiffness properties were developed for both a 53-foot box trailer and a 28-foot flatbed control trailer based on experimental measurements. In order to study the effect of torsional stiffness on the dynamics of a heavy truck vehicle dynamics computer model, static maneuvers were conducted comparing different torsional stiffness values to the original rigid vehicle model. Stiffness properties were first developed for a truck tractor model. It was found that the incorporation of a torsional stiffness model had only a minor effect on the overall tractor response for steady-state maneuvers up to 0.4 g lateral acceleration. The effect of torsional stiffness was also studied for the trailer portion of the existing model.
Technical Paper

Simulation Results from a Model of a Tractor Trailer Vehicle Equipped with Roll Stability Control

In 2007, a software model of a Roll Stability Control (RSC) system was developed based on test data for a Volvo tractor at NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC). This model was designed to simulate the RSC performance of a commercially available Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. The RSC model was developed in Simulink and integrated with the available braking model (TruckSim) for the truck. The Simulink models were run in parallel with the vehicle dynamics model of a truck in TruckSim. The complete vehicle model including the RSC system model is used to simulate the behavior of the actual truck and determine the capability of the RSC system in preventing rollovers under different conditions. Several simulations were performed to study the behavior of the model developed and to compare its performance with that of an actual test vehicle equipped with RSC.
Technical Paper

Consumer Braking Performance Information Initiative

A test procedure that rates brake performance must control variability so that measured differences between vehicles are real. Tests were conducted using standard brake test procedures with three drivers in three cars on wet and dry asphalt with the ABS working and disabled. The differences between vehicles were greater than differences due to ABS condition, surface condition, and drivers. The procedure measured differences between all the vehicles with statistical certainty but used many replications and drivers. If only large differences in performance need to be distinguished, fewer replications and drivers will be needed.
Technical Paper

Empirical Injury Prediction of the Pedestrian Thorax

The development of injury predictive models for pedestrian thoracic impact based on experimental data obtained in a previous study is presented. The data consists of ten cadaveric test subjects including eight side and two frontal impacts. A ten accelerometer array was mounted on the thorax to define thoracic kinematics. Three types of parameters, Q, B, and PSD, are developed to summarize each acceleration signal. A statistical regression is performed to generate empirical models for predicting the injury level (number of rib fractures) from these parameters. Coefficients of determination for these models range from 0.8 to 0.99 with the new PSD parameter showing exciting promise. Success of these parameters in predicting thoracic injury implies a relationship with frequency, particularly in the neighborhood of 60 Hz.
Technical Paper

Development of a Component Level Head Impact Test Device

This paper describes the development of a free-motion headform which was designed to permit the simulation of head impacts common in the automotive crash environment. A Hybrid III headform was modified allowing it to be propelled in free flight at up to 64.4 km/h velocities. The headform was also instrumented with a nine-accelerometer array to permit the calculation of rotational accelerations. Tests were conducted to determine the repeatability and sensitivity of the device, and component test results were compared with results from a full scale crash test in which Hybrid III dummies were used. Comparisons are also made with accident investigation information obtained from the NHTSA Washington Hospital Trauma Center study.
Technical Paper

An Overview of the Evolution of Computer Assisted Motor Vehicle Accident Reconstruction

This paper presents an overview of the evolution of computer simulations in vehicle collision and occupant kinematic reconstructions. The basic principles behind these simulations, the origin of these programs and the evolution of these programs from a basic analytical mathematical model to a sophisticated computer program are discussed. In addition, a brief computer development history is discussed to demonstrate how the evolution of computer assisted vehicle accident reconstruction becomes feasible for a reconstructionist. Possible future research in computer reconstruction is also discussed.
Technical Paper

Pole Impact Speeds Derived from Bilinear Estimations of Maximum Crush for Body-On-Frame Constructed Vehicles

Accident reconstructionists use several different approaches to determine vehicle equivalent impact speed from damage due to narrow object impacts. One method that is used relates maximum crush to equivalent impact speed with a bilinear curve. In the past, this model has been applied to several passenger cars with unibody construction. In this paper, the approach is applied to a body-on-frame vehicle. Several vehicle-to-rigid pole impact tests have been conducted on a full-size pickup at different speeds and impact locations: centrally located across the vehicle's front and outside the frame rail. A bilinear model relating vehicle equivalent impact speed to maximum crush is developed for the impact locations. These results are then compared to results obtained from other body-on-frame vehicles as well as unibody vehicles. Other tests such as impacts on the frame rail and barrier impacts are also presented. Limitations to this bilinear approach are discussed.
Technical Paper

Derivation and Validation of New Analytical Planar Models for Simulating Multi-Axle Articulated Vehicles

This paper discusses the derivation and validation of planar models of articulated vehicles that were developed to analyze jackknife stability on low-μ surfaces. The equations of motion are rigorously derived using Lagrange's method, then linearized for use in state-space models. The models are verified using TruckSim™, a popular nonlinear solid body vehicle dynamics modeling package. The TruckSim™ models were previously verified using extensive on-vehicle experimental data [1, 2]. A three-axle articulated model is expanded to contain five axles to avoid lumping the parameters for the drive and semitrailer tandems. Compromises inherent in using the linearized models are discussed and evaluated. Finally, a nonlinear tire cornering force model is coupled with the 5-axle model, and its ability to simulate a jackknife event is demonstrated. The model is shown to be valid over a wide range of inputs, up to and including loss of control, on low-and-medium-μ surfaces.
Technical Paper

A Study of Jackknife Stability of Class VIII Vehicles with Multiple Trailers with ABS Disc/Drum Brakes

This study investigated the jackknife stability of Class VIII double tractor-trailer combination vehicles that had mixed braking configurations between the tractor and trailers and dolly (e.g. ECBS disc brakes on the tractor and pneumatic drum brakes on the trailers and dolly). Brake-in-turn maneuvers were performed with varying vehicle loads and surface conditions. Conditions with ABS ON for the entire vehicle (and select-high control algorithm on the trailers and dolly) found that instabilities (i.e. lane excursions and/or jackknifes) were exhibited under conditions when the surface friction coefficient was 0.3. It was demonstrated that these instabilities could be avoided while utilizing a select-low control algorithm on the trailers and dolly. Simulation results with the ABS OFF for the tractor showed that a tractor equipped with disc brakes had greater jackknife stability.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of a Shock Model for Vehicle Simulation

This paper describes the development of a more accurate shock absorber model in order to obtain better vehicle simulation results. Previous shock models used a single spline to represent shock force versus shock velocity curves. These models produced errors in vehicle simulations because the damper characteristics are better represented by the application of a hysteresis loop in the model. Thus, a new damper model that includes a hysteresis loop is developed using Matlab Simulink. The damper characteristics for the new model were extracted from measurements made on a shock dynamometer. The new model better represents experimental shock data. The new shock model is incorporated into two different lumped-parameter vehicle models: one is a three degree-of-freedom vehicle handling model and the other is a seven degree-of-freedom vehicle ride model. The new damper model is compared with the previous model for different shock mileages (different degrees of wear).
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Validating Vehicle Dynamics Simulations

This paper presents a methodology for validating vehicle stability and control computer simulations. Validation is defined as showing that, within some specified operating range of the vehicle, a simulation's predictions of a vehicle's responses agree with the actual measured vehicle's responses to within some specified level of accuracy. The method uses repeated experimental runs at each test condition to generate sufficient data for statistical analyses. The acquisition and reduction of experimental data, and the processing path for simulation data, are described. The usefulness of time domain validation for steady state and slowly varying transients is discussed. The importance of frequency domain validation for thoroughly validating a simulation is shown. Both qualitative and quantitative methods for the comparison of the simulation predictions with the actual test measurements are developed.
Technical Paper

Computer Accident Simulation - Pretty Pictures and the Real World

A Computer Accident Simulation (CAS) is the application of dynamics to known physical evidence to yield a best approximation of the interactions of vehicles and other objects during the real world accident scenario. The simulation is based upon the reconstruction after an engineer's examination of the vehicles involved, the roadway (i.e., skid marks and gouges), and any substantiated evidence from witnesses. Examples of various cases are presented to illustrate the engineer's accident reconstruction and how the reconstruction is used to establish the computer simulation. The cases are used to explain the accuracy, features, advantages, and disadvantages of developing a computer accident simulation. During the interaction of the engineer and the graphics specialist, extra information such as witness viewpoint needs to be attained to make the computer simulation.
Technical Paper

MADYMO Modeling of the IHRA Head-form Impactor

The International Harmonization Research Activities Pedestrian Safety Working Group (IHRA PSWG) has proposed design requirements for two head-forms for vehicle hood (bonnet) impact testing. This paper discusses the development of MADYMO models representing the IHRA adult and child head-forms, validation of the models against laboratory drop tests, and assessment of the effect of IHRA geometric and mass constraints on the model response by conducting a parameter sensitivity analysis. The models consist of a multibody rigid sphere covered with a finite element modeled vinyl skin. The most important part in developing the MADYMO head-form models was to experimentally determine the material properties of the energy-absorbing portion of the head-form (vinyl skin) and incorporate these properties into MADYMO using a suitable material model. Three material models (linear isotropic, viscoelastic, hyperelastic) were examined.
Technical Paper

Design and Operation of a New-Type Suspension Parameter Measurement Device

The Suspension Parameter Measurement Device Model 7547 (SPMD Model 7547) has been designed and built for the purpose of measuring displacements and forces acting on the road wheels of a vehicle. These displacements and forces may be due to movement of the vehicle body (kinematic), forces occurring in the plane of the road (compliance), or due to movement of the steering wheel (steering). The SPMD Model 7547 tests the entire vehicle as a unit and provides a “black box” determination of the suspension characteristics in terms of input/output relationships. This data can then be used in the simulation of the performance of light cars and trucks.
Technical Paper

The Measurement of Static Rollover Metrics

This paper describes and compares three methods of estimating the static rollover threshold of passenger cars and light trucks. The Static Stability Factor (SSF), Side Pull Ratio (SPR), and Tilt Table Ratio (TTR) “metrics” are described and methods of measuring each are presented. The comparison of the three metrics is limited to the accuracy, repeatability, and ease of the measurements, and does not attempt to compare their ability to predict real world rollover accident involvement. The results of the comparison have shown that the three metrics are very closely related. Based on this, the rollover accident predictive power of each metric is expected to be similar. However, the ease and accuracy of the TTR measurement make it the most useful of the three. DURING THE 1980's, the use of light trucks and multi-purpose vehicles for basic transportation increased considerably. By 1990, domestic full-size pickup trucks were regularly among the top five passenger vehicles sold.
Technical Paper

Pole and Vehicle Energy Absorption in Lateral Oblique Impacts with Rigid and Frangible Poles

Many vehicle-to-pole impacts occur when a vehicle leaves the roadway due to oversteer and loss of control in a lateral steering maneuver. Such a loss of control typically results in the vehicle having a significant component of lateral sliding motion as it crosses the road edge, so that impacts with objects off of the roadway often occur to the side of the vehicle. The response of the vehicle to this impact depends on the characteristics of the impacted object, the characteristics of the vehicle in the impacted zone, and the speed and orientation of the vehicle. In situations where the suspension or other stiff portions of a vehicle contacts a wooden pole, it is not uncommon for the pole to fracture. When this occurs, reconstruction of the accident is complicated by the need to evaluate both the energy absorbed by the vehicle as well as the energy absorbed by the pole.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Rollover Sequences

This paper will illustrate the development of the modeling of rollover sequences. During the past few years, a lot of research has been focused on the rollover propensity of vehicles. As to what happens after the vehicle rolls over, attention is only paid to occupant kinematics and occupant injury. Some simple questions such as how many rolls in the rollover are not answered unless a rollover test is run. The rollover sequences including roll number, roll speed and roll distance are very important to the accident reconstructionists as well as design engineers. Since the cost for running a rollover test is so high today, it is very economic and time-efficient to obtain the preliminary results from a mathematical model. Roll number and roll distance versus time are to be obtained through the mathematical model which is based on several rollover tests, vehicle inertia parameters, and the Coulomb friction, a non-linear term in the equation.