Comparative Study of the Effect of Tread Rubber Compound on Tire Performance on Ice

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Virginia Tech


The tire-terrain interaction is complex and tremendously important; it impacts the performance and safety of the vehicle and its occupants. Icy roads further enhance these complexities and adversely affect the handling of the vehicle. The analysis of the tire-ice contact focusing on individual aspects of tire construction and operation is imperative for tire industry's future. This study investigates the effects of the tread rubber compound on the drawbar pull performance of tires in contact with an ice layer near its melting point. A set of sixteen tires of eight different rubber compounds were considered. The tires were identical in design and tread patterns but have different tread rubber compounds. To study the effect of the tread rubber compound, all operational parameters were kept constant during the testing conducted on the Terramechanics Rig at the Terramechanics, Multibody, and Vehicle Systems laboratory. The tests led to conclusive evidence of the effect of the tread rubber compound on the drawbar performance (found to be most prominent in the linear region of the drawbar-slip curve) and on the resistive forces of free-rolling tires. Modeling of the tire-ice contact for estimation of temperature rise and water film height was performed using ATIIM 2.0. The performance of this in-house model was compared against three classical tire-ice friction models. A parametrization of the Magic Formula tire model was performed using experimental data and a Genetic Algorithm. The dependence of individual factors of the Magic Formula on the ambient temperature, tire age, and tread rubber compounds was investigated.



Tire-ice friction, tread rubber compound, winter tires, genetic algorithm