Feasibility Study of Tire Hydroplaning using an Eulerian-Lagrangian approach in a single Finite Element Code

Adriaan Sillem

Site of the project:
Rue de Luxembourg

start of the project: January 2008

In May 2008 the Interim Thesis has been appeared. Here you can find additional material from the master thesis.

The Master project has been finished in November 2008 by the completion of the Masters Thesis and a final presentation has been given. The input for Abacus can be decompressed by the following decompressor. For working address etc. we refer to our alumnipage.

Summary of the master project:

Tire hydroplaning is one major feature for driving safety. As complete hydroplaning (aquaplaning) often appears to happen sudden and unforeseen when drivers enter a water pond and then tend to react fundamentally wrong, even the influence of modern electronic stabilizing devices is limited. Complete control loss and serious accidents are usually the consequence.

Tire design can make distinct difference in the hydroplaning performance resulting in complete contact loss to differ for several deca km/h driving velocity. Finally, it can be stated that each and every additional km/h with remaining contact counts for the drivers and surrounding peoples safety. It is in the responsibility of tire manufacturers to care about this safety feature within the frame of all required tire performances. Historically the tire performance has been ranked on experiments only. This meant that all design candidates had to be built and tested for their individual hydroplaning performance. Obviously, the individual tire prototype building and individual testing within several optimization loops has been and still partially is a very time consuming and cost intensive factor in the tire development cycle.

In addition to that, even very advanced experimental setups for hydroplaning performance prediction today allow only a very limited insight in what actually causes the predicted hydroplaning performance. Some main influence factors of course are well known, but there are still hundreds of small design features influencing the tire hydroplaning that can not be clearly separated by the experimental results.

While other tire performance features are already handled with virtual prototyping and virtual performance prediction since more than 20 years, increasing in variety and solution quality, tire hydroplaning performance prediction has been approached lately only since being very demanding for computational power and tool accuracy. Today, Goodyear has a tool in place to predict the tire hydroplaning performance in a loosely coupled, staggered Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) simulation approach coupling the best qualified FEA and CFD codes, that can surely be considered as one of the top prediction tools in the tire industry allowing for additional virtual prototyping. However, to stay ahead each promising new capability that is available on the market has to be assessed and benchmarked against the current tools. Even if the new tool or method will not provide a better solution than the existing tools, it definitely provides new, additional experiences and ideas that might be used to enhance the current tools at Goodyear.

On the circuit in order to test for tire hydroplaning

Measurements to investigate tire hydroplaning

Contact information: Kees Vuik

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