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Technical Paper

Wear Resistance of Lunar Wheel Treads Made of Polymeric Fabrics

The purpose of this research is to characterize the wear resistance of wheel treads made of polymeric woven and non-woven fabrics. Experimental research is used to characterize two wear mechanisms: (1) external wear due to large sliding between the tread and rocks, and (2) external wear due to small sliding between the tread and abrasive sand. Experimental setups include an abrasion tester and a small-scale merry-go-round where the tread is attached to a deformable rolling wheel. The wear resistance is characterized using various measures including, quantitatively, by the number of cycles to failure, and qualitatively, by micro-visual inspection of the fibers’ surface. This paper describes the issues related to each experiment and discusses the results obtained with different polymeric materials, fabric densities and sizes. The predominant wear mechanism is identified and should then be used as one of the criteria for further design of the tread.
Technical Paper

Strain Rate Effect on Martensitic Transformation in a TRIP Steel Containing Carbide-Free Bainite

Adiabatic heating during plastic straining can slow the diffusionless shear transformation of austenite to martensite in steels that exhibit transformation induced plasticity (TRIP). However, the extent to which the transformation is affected over a strain rate range of relevance to automotive stamping and vehicle impact events is unclear for most third-generation advanced high strength TRIP steels. In this study, an 1180MPa minimum tensile strength TRIP steel with carbide-free bainite is evaluated by measuring the variation of retained austenite volume fraction (RAVF) in fractured tensile specimens with position and strain. This requires a combination of servo-hydraulic load frame instrumented with high speed stereo digital image correlation for measurement of strains and ex-situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction for determination of RAVF in fractured tensile specimens.
Technical Paper

Ride Dynamics and Pavement Loading of Tractor Semi-Trailers on Randomly Rough Roads

An investigation of the vertical dynamics of a tractor semi-trailer traversing a random road profile was conducted. This paper presents the development of a 14 degree-of-freedom (DOF), dynamic ride model of a tractor semi-trailer. It is based on work previously conducted by Vaduri and Law [1] and Law et al [2]. The DOFs include: (a) vertical displacements of each of the five axles, the tractor frame, the engine on its mounts, the cab on its suspension, and the driver's seat; (b) pitch displacements of the trailer with respect to the tractor, the cab, and the rigid tractor frame; and, (c) the first bending or beaming modes of the tractor and trailer frames. The model also incorporates suspension friction, and tire non-uniformities. The simulation of the model is conducted using MATLAB software.
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

Flexible Fabrics with High Thermal Conductivity for Advanced Spacesuits

This paper describes the effort and accomplishments for developing flexible fabrics with high thermal conductivity (FFHTC) for spacesuits to improve thermal performance, lower weight and reduce complexity. Commercial and additional space exploration applications that require substantial performance enhancements in removal and transport of heat away from equipment as well as from the human body can benefit from this technology. Improvements in thermal conductivity were achieved through the use of modified polymers containing thermally conductive additives. The objective of the FFHTC effort is to significantly improve the thermal conductivity of the liquid cooled ventilation garment by improving the thermal conductivity of the subcomponents (i.e., fabric and plastic tubes).
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

Effects of Material Properties on Static Load-Deflection and Vibration of a Non-Pneumatic Tire During High-Speed Rolling

The Michelin Tweel tire structure has recently been developed as an innovative non-pneumatic tire which has potential for improved handling, grip, comfort, low energy loss when impacting obstacles and reduced rolling resistance when compared to a traditional pneumatic tire. One of the potential sources of vibration during rolling of a non-pneumatic tire is the buckling phenomenon and snapping back of the spokes in tension when they enter and exit the contact zone. Another source of noise was hypothesized due to a flower petal ring vibration effect due to discrete spoke interaction with the ring and contact with the ground during rolling as the spokes cycle between tension and compression. Transmission of vibration between the ground force, ring and spokes to the hub was also considered to be a significant contributor to vibration and noise characteristics of the Tweel.
Technical Paper

Development of Endurance Testing Apparatus Simulating Wheel Dynamics and Environment on Lunar Terrain

This paper entails the design and development of a NASA testing system used to simulate wheel operation in a lunar environment under different loading conditions. The test system was developed to test the design of advanced nonpneumatic wheels to be used on the NASA All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE). The ATHLETE, allowing for easy maneuverability around the lunar surface, provides the capability for many research and exploration opportunities on the lunar surface that were not previously possible. Each leg, having six degrees of freedom, allows the ATHLETE to accomplish many tasks not available on other extra-terrestrial exploration platforms. The robotic vehicle is expected to last longer than previous lunar rovers.
Technical Paper

Design of a Scaled Off-Vehicle Wheel Testing Device for Textile Tread Wear

This paper describes the development of test equipment for determining the wear viability of various lunar wheel tread materials with service lives of up to ten years and 10,000 km. The problem is defined, and concepts are proposed, evaluated, and selected. An abrasive turntable is chosen for simplicity and accuracy of modeling the original wheel configuration. Additionally, the limitations of the test are identified, such as the sensitivity to off-vertical loading, and future work is projected in order to more effectively continue testing. Finally, this paper presents the challenges of collaborative research effort between an undergraduate research team and industry, with government lab representatives as customers
Technical Paper

Control Optimization of a Charge Sustaining Hybrid Powertrain for Motorsports

The automotive industry is aggressively pursuing fuel efficiency improvements through hybridization of production vehicles, and there are an increasing number of racing series adopting similar architectures to maintain relevance with current passenger car trends. Hybrid powertrains offer both performance and fuel economy benefits in a motorsport setting, but they greatly increase control complexity and add additional degrees of freedom to the design optimization process. The increased complexity creates opportunity for performance gains, but simulation based tools are necessary since hybrid powertrain design and control strategies are closely coupled and their optimal interactions are not straightforward to predict. One optimization-related advantage that motorsports applications have over production vehicles is that the power demand of circuit racing has strong repeatability due to the nature of the track and the professional skill-level of the driver.
Journal Article

Control Allocation for Multi-Axle Hub Motor Driven Land Vehicles

This paper outlines a real-time hierarchical control allocation algorithm for multi-axle land vehicles with independent hub motor wheel drives. At the top level, the driver’s input such as pedal position or steering wheel position are interpreted into desired global state responses based on a reference model. Then, a locally linearized rigid body model is used to design a linear quadratic regulator that generates the desired global control efforts, i.e., the total tire forces and moments required track the desired state responses. At the lower level, an optimal control allocation algorithm coordinates the motor torques in such a manner that the forces generated at tire-road contacts produce the desired global control efforts under some physical constraints of the actuation and the tire/wheel dynamics. The performance of the proposed control system design is verified via simulation analysis of a 3-axle heavy vehicle with independent hub-motor drives.
Technical Paper

Combined Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction and Digital Image Correlation Technique for Measurement of Austenite Transformation with Strain in TRIP-Assisted Steels

The strain-induced diffusionless shear transformation of retained austenite to martensite during straining of transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) assisted steels increases strain hardening and delays necking and fracture leading to exceptional ductility and strength, which are attractive for automotive applications. A novel technique that provides the retained austenite volume fraction variation with strain with improved precision is presented. Digital images of the gauge section of tensile specimens were first recorded up to selected plastic strains with a stereo digital image correlation (DIC) system. The austenite volume fraction was measured by synchrotron X-ray diffraction from small squares cut from the gage section. Strain fields in the squares were then computed by localizing the strain measurement to the corresponding region of a given square during DIC post-processing of the images recorded during tensile testing.
Technical Paper

Bonding Strength Modeling of Polyurethane to Vulcanized Rubber

Tires manufactured from polyurethane (PU) have been espoused recently for reduced hysteretic loss, but the material provides poor traction or poor wear resistance in the application, requiring inclusion of a traditional vulcanized rubber tread at the contact surface. The tread can be attached by adhesive methods after the PU body is cured, or the PU can be directly cured to reception sites on the rubber chain molecules unoccupied by crosslinked (vulcanizing) sulfur atoms. This paper provides a study of the two bonding options, both as-manufactured and after dynamic loading representative of tire performance in service. Models of each process are introduced, and an experimental comparison of the bonding strength between each method is made. Results are applied to tire fatigue simulation.