The virtual design of steering systems requires suitable premises for predicting realistic steering rack forces. This includes the proper tire used for the parking maneuver. It is important to select the tire from a portfolio that generates the highest rack forces at the vehicle, so that the electro-mechanical dimensioning of the steering system can be safeguarded for all tires of a vehicle. To avoid time-consuming and expensive full vehicle measurements, drilling torques of tires are measured on a Flat-Trac to determine the so-called worst-case tire. However, the determined drilling torques do not correlate with the measured rack forces.

This work therefore investigates the suitability of a Kinematics & Compliance test rig converted to a tire test rig. First, it is investigated whether the wheel movements from the parking maneuver can be decomposed into their individual elements on the test bench. In addition, reproducibility studies are carried out and three different methods for determining the aligning torque under camber are presented. Furthermore, measurements for static and dynamic friction values, as well as stiffnesses and the contact patch, are integrated into the new measurement procedure. It becomes apparent that temperature and wear level of the tire play a major role in the reproducibility of the measurements. If the measurement procedure described in this paper is followed exactly, the scatter of the drilling torque can be reduced by up to 24% compared to the old procedure. For the dynamic and the static friction values, the scatter is reduced by about 17% and 22%, respectively. Stiffness scatter can be reduced by up to 16%.

With the new measurement procedure, the worst-case tire can be reliably determined. The drilling torques correlate with the rack forces and the additional tire characteristics permit finer resolution. After evaluation and interpretation, recommendations for future developments are discussed.

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