The main goal of this work is to investigate if finite element (FE) model techniques with special applications of material properties accurately estimate the parameters of flexible ring tire models. It is known that commercially available ring tire models are used as standard tools for simulating and predicting vehicle ride and durability, e.g., rigid ring MF-Swift [1] and flexible ring Flexible Structure Tire Model (FTire) [2–5]. Despite wide acceptance of these models, difficulty in model parameterization limits their application in the vehicle development process. For estimation of tire dynamic stiffnesses and inertial properties, rolling tire cleat test data are required for most ring models. Although this test method produces reliable models, the parameterization is not time and cost effective as it requires measurement and processing of cleat data at multiple speeds and loads and is prone to test rig dynamic compliance variations. This approach also limits the ability to evaluate tire performances during the virtual stages of tire design. The objective of this work is to develop virtual data using time and cost effective FE-based methods towards the estimation of flexible ring model parameters rather than relying on measured cleat data on physical tires. Commercial product ABAQUS is used for the FE simulations and FTire for tire flexible ring model simulations. Two FE modeling techniques are utilized in this work. Firstly, it is shown that the dynamic stiffness of a rolling tire can be estimated from a steady state eigensolution modal analysis of a static tire using material properties characterized for a rolling tire. Secondly, a method of separation of the sidewall from the tread band is developed for the estimation of mass and bending properties of the tread band. The estimated stiffnesses, inertias, and dimensions from the FE model results are converted into FTire model parameters. Finally, to validate the virtually generated FTire model, simulated dynamic cleat data response trends at multiple inflation pressures and velocities are compared with measurements. The virtual FE based techniques presented in this work can be applied to other ring based models as well.

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