Dynamic response of rigid wheels on deformable terrains

Off-road vehicle performance, such as vehicle mobility, maneuverability, and traction performance is generally affected by the pneumatic tyre-off-road terrain interaction. Modelling of such cases is usually based on empirical and semi-empirical solutions, which have limited applicability in real situations due to their inherent weaknesses. In this study, numerical simulation of the dynamic mobility of a rigid wheel on a deformable terrain is performed through a series of transient nonlinear dynamic finite element analyses with the use of the finite element code ABAQUS (v. 6.13). The dynamic interaction of a rigid wheel with the underlying soil during off-road vehicle travel is simulated. The effects of the vertical load carried by the wheel, the tread pattern, the longitudinal and lateral tread parameters, and the slip ratio of the wheel on the wheel performance are investigated and useful results are extracted. The numerical results reveal that the effects of the tread pattern, particularly tread depth and the terrain constitutive properties, such as soil cohesion can be of high importance for the general wheel response.