Title: A force-based suspension modelling approach for vehicle steady-state handling

Authors: J.M. D'Souza, J.M. Starkey

Addresses: Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI 48121, USA. ' School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Abstract: This paper presents a modelling procedure for predicting steady-state cornering behaviour of four-wheeled vehicles. The method retains the simplicity and insightfulness of the traditional Kinematic Roll Centre approach, but requires less input data than multi-body simulations using commercial computer programs. The core concept of the method is to model the suspension at each wheel with its equivalent swing-arm by identifying the instant centre between each wheel and the chassis. Then, tyre contact patch forces can be decomposed into two force components, one normal to this swing arm which causes suspension deflection, and the other along the swing arm which transfers directly to the chassis. Using these force components, true chassis positions can be resolved, and accurate tyre forces predicted. The key advantages of this approach are (1) the contribution of lateral loads to chassis heave is included, (2) a more accurate load transfer prediction results, (3) higher-order tyre effects, such as camber thrust, can be included, and (4) accurate predictions are possible at high Levels of lateral acceleration. Significant insight into suspension behaviour also results from studies using this approach. The method presented in this paper is compared with the traditional Kinematic Roll Centre approach, and the effects of suspension design on chassis roll and heave are discussed.

Keywords: cornering; vehicle handling; kinematic roll centres; force-based suspension modelling; steady-state handling; vehicle design; chassis positions; tyre forces; vehicle design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1998.062101

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1998 Vol.19 No.2, pp.167 - 186

Published online: 29 May 2014 *

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