A multi-body dynamics approach for the study of critical handling manoeuvres on surfaces with uneven friction

The study of the dynamic behaviour of vehicles using computer simulation has been one of the major areas of research for many years. Based on the application area, the models used for performing these studies vary greatly in their capability, complexity and amount of data required. The multi-body approach is most preferred when it comes to iterative design optimization, whereas relatively simple models are mostly used for studying basic handling characteristics and vehicle stability. However, for studies involving critical handling manoeuvres, it is imperative to include certain amount of detail in the vehicle model, which accounts for the influence of suspension geometry and tyre characteristics on handling behaviour. The aim of the present research is to develop a vehicle model, based on Newton-Euler formulation of equations, incorporating sufficient degrees of freedom and adequate non linear characteristics for the realistic simulation of severe handling manoeuvres. The model is verified against experimental vehicle data and is finally used for the investigation of critical handling manoeuvres on surfaces with uneven friction. During this procedure, the tendency of the vehicle to rollover is assessed, together with other dynamic outputs such as yaw velocity and lateral acceleration.