Time domain contact model for tyre/road interaction including nonlinear contact stiffness due to small-scale roughness
Journal article, 2008
Rolling resistance, traction, wear, excitation of vibrations, and noise generation are all attributes to consider in optimisation of the interaction between automotive tyres and wearing courses of roads. The key to understand and describe the interaction is to include a wide range of length scales in the description of the contact geometry. This means including scales on the order of micrometres that have been neglected in previous tyre/road interaction models. A time domain contact model for the tyre/road interaction that includes interfacial details is presented. The contact geometry is discretised into multiple elements forming pairs of matching points. The dynamic response of the tyre is calculated by convolving the contact forces with pre-calculated Green's functions. The smaller-length scales are included by using constitutive interfacial relations, i.e. by using nonlinear contact springs, for each pair of contact elements. The method is presented for normal (out-of-plane) contact and a method for assessing the stiffness of the nonlinear springs based on detailed geometry and elastic data of the tread is suggested. The governing equations of the nonlinear contact problem are solved with the Newton–Raphson iterative scheme. Relations between force, indentation, and contact stiffness are calculated for a single tread block in contact with a road surface. The calculated results have the same character as results from measurements found in literature. Comparison to traditional contact formulations shows that the effect of the small-scale roughness is large; the contact stiffness is only up to half of the stiffness that would result if contact is made over the whole element directly to the bulk of the tread. It is concluded that the suggested contact formulation is a suitable model to include more details of the contact interface. Further, the presented result for the tread block in contact with the road is a suitable input for a global tyre/road interaction model that is also based on the presented contact formulation.