Experimental and Modeling of Pneumatic Tire Performance on Ice

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Virginia Tech

The tire-ice interaction is a highly complex phenomenon, which has a direct influence on the overall performance of the pneumatic tire. From tire-terrain interaction dynamics, it is evident that icy road conditions and tire operational parameters play a vital role in determining the overall performance of the vehicle. With the reduction of traction available at the surface in icy conditions, the dynamics of the vehicle becomes more unpredictable, as the system can become unstable. In order to design an appropriate safety system, the tire-ice interaction must be closely investigated. Since the tire is the part of the vehicle that is in direct contact with the terrain during operation, it is critical to have an in-depth understanding of the contact mechanics at the contact patch.

This study has led to the development and validation of an existing tire-ice model to further improve the understanding of the contact phenomena at the tire-ice interface. Experimental investigations led to a novel measurement technique in order to validate the semi-empirical based tire-ice contact model.

The Advanced Tire-Ice Interface Model serves to simulate the temperature rise at the contact patch based on the pressure distribution in the contact patch, thermal properties of the tread compound and of the ice surface. Since its initial development, the advanced model is now capable of simulating the thin water film created from the melted ice, the prediction of tractive performance, the estimation of the viscous friction due to the water layer, and the influence of braking operations including the locked wheel condition.

Experimental studies, carried out at the Terramechanics, Multibody, and Vehicle Systems (TMVS) Laboratory, were performed on the Terramechanics Rig. The investigation included measuring the bulk temperature distribution at the contact patch in order to validate the temperature rise simulations of the original Tire-Ice Model. The tractive performance of a P225/60R16 97S Standard Reference Test Tire and a 235/55R-19 Pirelli Scorpion Verde All-Season Plus XL were also investigated during this study. A design of experiment was prepared to capture the tire tractive performance under various controlled operating conditions.

Advanced Tire-Ice Interface Model, Indoor Testing, Water Film Height, Model Validation, Tire Tractive Performance on Ice