Evaluation of tread pattern designs with respect to performance of winter tires on snow is still predominantly based on empirical knowledge. To gain greater insight into the complex interaction between the elastic tread block and the inelastically deforming snow, numerical simulations by means of the Finite Element Method (FEM) were carried out in conjunction with experimental investigations. An elastoplastic material model for snow was developed. Calibration of the model parameters is based on shear and compression tests conducted on specimens made of natural and artificial snow. Good correlation is obtained between results from laboratory experiments and from numerical simulations with respect to the deformations and the frictional behavior of a single rubber block sliding on snow.

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