Systematic Tire Testing and Model Parameterization for Tire Traction on Soft Soil
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Tire performance over soft soil influences the performance of off-road vehicles on soft soil, as the tire is the only force transmitting element between the off-road vehicles and soil during the vehicle operation. One aspect of the tire performance over soft soil is the tire tractive performance on soft soil, and it attracts the attention of vehicle and geotechnical engineers. The vehicle engineer is interested in the tire tractive performance on soft soil because it is related to vehicle mobility and energy efficiency; the geotechnical engineer is concerned about the soil compaction, brought about by the tire traffic, which accompanies the tire tractive performance on soft soil. In order to improve the vehicle mobility and energy efficiency over soft soil and mitigate the soil compaction, it's essential to develop an in-depth understanding of tire tractive performance on soft soil. This study has enhanced the understanding of tire tractive performance on soft soil and promoted the development of terramechanics and tire model parameterization method through experimental tests. The experimental tests consisted of static tire deflection tests, static tire-soil tests, soil properties tests, and dynamic tire-soil tests. The series of tests (test program) presented herein produced parameterization and validation data that can be used in tire off-road traction dynamics modeling and terramechanics modeling. The 225/60R16 97S Uniroyal (Michelin) Standard Reference Test Tire (SRTT) and loamy sand were chosen to be studied in the test program. The tests included the quantification or/and measurement of soil properties of the test soil, pre-traffic soil condition, the pressure distribution in the tire contact patch, tire off-road tractive performance, and post-traffic soil compaction. The influence of operational parameters, e.g., tire inflation pressure, tire normal load, tire slip ratio, initial soil compaction, or the number of passes, on the measurement data of tire performance parameters or soil response parameters was also analyzed. New methods of the rolling radius estimation for a tire on soft soil and of the 3-D rut reconstruction were developed. A multi-pass effect phenomenon, different from any previously observed phenomenon in the available existing literature, was discovered. The test data was fed into optimization programs for the parameterization of the Bekker's model, a modified Bekker's model, the Magic Formula tire model, and a bulk density estimation model. The modified Bekker's model accounts for the slip sinkage effect which the original Bekker's pressure-sinkage model doesn't. The Magic Formula tire model was adapted to account for the combined influence of tire inflation pressure and initial soil compaction on the tire tractive performance and validated by the test data. The parameterization methods presented herein are new effective terramechanics model parameterization methods, can capture tire-soil interaction which the conventional parameterization methods such as the plate-sinkage test and shear test (not using a tire as the shear tool) cannot sufficiently, and hence can be used to develop tire off-road dynamics models that are heavily based on terramechanics models. This study has been partially supported by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and by the Terramechanics, Multibody, and Vehicle (TMVS) Laboratory at Virginia Tech.
General Audience Abstract
Big differences exist between a tire moving in on-road conditions, such as asphalt lanes, and a tire moving in off-road conditions, such as soft soil. For example, for passenger cars commonly driven on asphalt lanes, normally, the tire inflation pressure is suggested to be between 30 and 35 psi; very low inflation pressure is also not suggested. By contrast, for off-road vehicles operated on soft soil, low inflation pressure is recommended for their tires; the inflation pressure of a tractor tire can be as low as 12 psi, for the sake of low post-traffic soil compaction and better tire traction. Besides, unlike the research on tire on-road dynamics, the research on off-road dynamics is still immature, while the physics behind the off-road dynamics could be more complex than the on-road dynamics. In this dissertation, experimental tests were completed to study the factors influencing tire tractive performance and soil behavior, and model parameterization methods were developed for a better prediction of tire off-road dynamics models. Tire or vehicle manufacturers can use the research results or methods presented in this dissertation to offer suggestions for the tire or vehicle operation on soft soil in order to maximize the tractive performance and minimize the post-traffic soil compaction.
- Doctoral Dissertations