ABSTRACT

Generating structured hexahedral finite element meshes on tread patterns is a challenging and laborious task due to the complex pattern geometry. However, creating good quality tetrahedral meshes on these geometries is relatively straightforward and can be fully automated. Despite the convenience and time saving, analysts have long avoided tetrahedral elements because of inadequate contact stress accuracy, which is critical for pattern wear prediction. Recent advances in contact formulation has vastly improved the accuracy of contact stresses predicted by tetrahedral meshes. This article presents a comparative study between the results predicted by tetrahedral and hexahedral meshes under slow rolling conditions. Comparisons are presented for footprint solution quantities such as contact stresses as well as global solution quantities such as residual aligning torque.

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