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Design and Implementation of a Clutch and Brake System for a Single Wheel Indoor Tire Testing Rig
Khan, Aamir Khusru
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The primary goal of this work is to design and implement a clutch and brake system on the single tire Terramechanics rig of Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory (AVDL) at Virginia Tech. This test rig was designed and built to study the performance of tires in off-road conditions on surfaces such as soil, sand, and ice. Understanding the braking performance of tires is crucial, especially for terrains like ice, which has a low coefficient of friction. Also, rolling resistance is one of the important aspects affecting the tractive performance of a vehicle and its fuel consumption. Investigating these experimentally will help improve tire models performance. The current configuration of the test rig does not have braking and free rolling capabilities. This study involves modifications on the rig to enable free rolling testing when the clutch is disengaged and to allow braking when the clutch is engaged and the brake applied. The first part of this work involves the design and fabrication of a clutch system that would not require major changes in the setup of the test rig; this includes selecting the appropriate clutch that would meet the torque requirement, the size that would fit in the space available, and the capability to be remotely operated. The test rig's carriage has to be modified in order to fit a pneumatic clutch, its adapter, a new transmission shaft, and the mounting frame for the clutch system. The components of the actuation system consisting of pneumatic lines, the pressure regulator, valves, etc., have to be installed. Easy operation of the clutch from a remote location is enabled through the installation of a solenoid valve. The second part of this work is to design, fabricate, and install a braking system. The main task is to design a customized braking system that satisfies the various physical and functional constraints of the current configuration of the Terramechanics rig. Some other tasks are the design and fabrication of a customized rotor, selection of a suitable caliper, and design and fabrication of a customized mounting bracket for the caliper. A hydraulic actuation system is selected since it is suitable for this configuration and enables remote operation of the brakes. Finally, the rig is upgraded with the assembly of these two systems onto it.
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