This article focuses on steel cord deformation and force investigation within heavy-duty radial tires. Typical bending deformation and tension force distributions of steel reinforcement within a truck bus radial (TBR) tire have been obtained, and they provide useful input for the local scale modeling of the steel cord. The three-dimensional carpet plots of the cord force distribution within a TBR tire are presented. The carcass-bending curvature is derived from the deformation of the carcass center line. A high-efficiency modeling approach for layered multistrand cord structures has been developed that uses cord design variables such as lay angle, lay length, and radius of the strand center line as input. Several types of steel cord have been modeled using the developed method as an example. The pure tension for two cords and the combined tension bending under various loading conditions relevant to tire deformation have been simulated by a finite element analysis (FEA). Good agreement has been found between experimental and FEA-determined tension force-displacement curves, and the characteristic structural and plastic deformation phases have been revealed by the FE simulation. Furthermore, some interesting local stress and deformation patterns under combined tension and bending are found that have not been previously reported. In addition, an experimental cord force measurement approach is included in this article.

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