An empirical methodology is described for separately characterizing vehicles and road courses for subsequent combination to predict tire force histories in tire use or testing. By building a library of vehicle and wear course characterizations, indoor wear test simulations can be selectively constructed by using any combination of “virtual” test vehicles and wear courses. A reliable transient record of vertical, lateral and fore‐aft forces and inclination angles can be generated and supplied to drive the indoor wear tire loading fixture. Vehicle characterization involves mapping the basic dynamic load transfer behavior over a range of acceleration, deceleration and cornering maneuvers. A unique indoor vehicle test facility is described for efficiently capturing the tire forces and inclination angles during various maneuvers. All four tire positions can be characterized. Vehicle center of gravity (CG) accelerations and speeds are also recorded during indoor testing. An alternative to experimental measurements is the use of a vehicle computer model for mapping the basic dynamic load transfer behavior. Empirical equations relating vehicle kinematics to tire forces and inclination angles have been developed and are presented. A method of utilizing these equations together with outdoor wear course measurements for predicting transient tire force histories is presented. The method is demonstrated and validated with several vehicle case studies. The tire force component of a wear course can be characterized by measurement of a few parameters: the vehicle CG accelerations and the longitudinal velocity. Course characterization is illustrated using the Department of Transportation's Uniform Tire Quality Grading wear course in the San Angelo, TX area. The full 650 km course was characterized and combined with the laboratory characterization of a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am. Four 650 km drive files were created, one for each tire position, for an indoor wear machine. These consisted of five time‐based parameters: radial load, lateral force, wheel torque (acceleration, deceleration forces), inclination angle, and velocity. By sequencing a tire through these four drive files, it was “rotated” as it would have been on the actual vehicle. Examples of tire wear rates and irregular wear are shown for a number of tire constructions, comparing the indoor to the outdoor results. Good correlation was achieved. This simulation technique permits the tire force spectrum of quite complex and lengthy routes to be accurately reproduced in the precisely controlled environment of the laboratory. Each cornering maneuver, each braking and acceleration event, every hill and town can be reproduced in real‐time. Only by combining the specific vehicle dynamics of a given vehicle with that of a specific wear route can tire wear be accurately simulated. This tire‐vehicle system simulation methodology is referred to as a TS‐Sim model.

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