Vehicles, such as an agricultural tractor, construction vehicle, mobile machinery, and 4‐wheel drive vehicle, are often operated on unpaved ground. In many cases, the ground is deformable; therefore, the deformation should be taken into consideration in order to assess the off‐the‐road performance of a tire. Recent progress in computational mechanics enabled us to simulate the large scale coupling problem, in which the deformation of tire structure and of surrounding medium can be interactively considered. Using this technology, hydroplaning phenomena and tire traction on snow have been predicted.
In this paper, the simulation methodology of tire/soil coupling problems is developed for pneumatic tires of arbitrary tread patterns. The Finite Element Method (FEM) and the Finite Volume Method (FVM) are used for structural and for soil‐flow analysis, respectively. The soil is modeled as an elastoplastic material with a specified yield criterion and a nonlinear elasticity. The material constants are referred to measurement data, so that the cone penetration resistance and the shear resistance are represented. Finally, the traction force of the tire in a cultivated field is predicted, and a good correlation with experiments is obtained.