Loughborough University
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Analysis of vehicle rollover using a high fidelity multi-body model and statistical methods

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posted on 2015-06-30, 15:35 authored by Maciej P. Czechowicz
The work presented in this thesis is dedicated to the study of vehicle rollover and the tyre and suspension characteristics influencing it. Recent data shows that 35.4% of recorded fatal crashes in Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) included vehicle rollover. The effect of rollover on an SUV tends to be more severe than for other types of passenger vehicle. Additionally, the number of SUVs on the roads is rising. Therefore, a thorough understanding of factors affecting the rollover resistance of SUVs is needed. The majority of previous research work on rollover dynamics has been based on low fidelity models. However, vehicle rollover is a highly non-linear event due to the large angles in vehicle body motion, extreme suspension travel, tyre non-linearities and large forces acting on the wheel, resulting in suspension spring-aids, rebound stops and bushings operating in the non-linear region. This work investigates vehicle rollover using a complex and highly non-linear multi-body validated model with 165 degrees of freedom. The vehicle model is complemented by a Magic Formula tyre model. Design of experiment methodology is used to identify tyre properties affecting vehicle rollover. A novel, statistical approach is used to systematically identify the sensitivity of rollover propensity to suspension kinematic and compliance characteristics. In this process, several rollover metrics are examined together with stability considerations and an appropriate rollover metric is devised. Research so far reveals that the tyre properties having the greatest influence on vehicle rollover are friction coefficient, friction variation with load, camber stiffness, and tyre vertical stiffness. Key kinematic and compliance characteristics affecting rollover propensity are front and rear suspension rate, front roll stiffness, front camber gain, front and rear camber compliance and rear jacking force. The study of suspension and tyre parameters affecting rollover is supplemented by an investigation of a novel anti-rollover control scheme based on a reaction wheel actuator. The simulations performed so far show promising results. Even with a very simple and conservative control scheme the reaction wheel, with actuator torque limited to 100Nm, power limited to 5kW and total energy consumption of less than 3kJ, increases the critical manoeuvre velocity by over 9%. The main advantage of the proposed control scheme, as opposed to other known anti-rollover control schemes, is that it prevents rollover whilst allowing the driver to maintain the desired vehicle path.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


© Maciej Paweł Czechowicz

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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