Investigation of Vehicle Body Stiffness Modification on Vehicle Ride Comfort and Handling Using a Low-Order Vehicle Model
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Honors Theses; 2016
Vehicle body stiffness is an important design consideration with respect to vehicle ride comfort and handling performance; however, the interaction between the stiffness of the vehicle body and the suspension layout is not well understood. This complex interaction is often evaluated using complex finite element models or experimental techniques which are resource-intensive, especially early in the development process. Therefore, the objective of this research is to develop a simplified vehicle model with a vehicle body stiffness representation to better understand its effect on ride comfort and handling performance. First, a low-order multibody dynamics vehicle model is created with vehicle suspension kinematics, vehicle body stiffness, realistic spring rates, and shock absorber performance curves from published or modally justified parameters. Next, the functionality of the model is verified by comparison to published static and dynamic vehicle test data. Virtual test profiles and assessment criteria are then defined for the models to simulate and assess vehicle ride and handling phenomena. Finally, the influence of vehicle body stiffness modifications is quantified using the model by systematically varying the vehicle body stiffness. Results of this study identified different vehicle performance regime changes related to modifications of vehicle body stiffness. The effects of these changes are compared to changes due to realistic variations in tire and shock absorber properties to quantify their significance. For the vehicle considered, improvements to both ride and handling could be achieved through decreasing vehicle body stiffness by upwards of 50%; however, in comparison to realistic 4 variations in tire and shock absorber parameters, the effects of modifications to the body stiffness are minimal. Although changes in vehicle body stiffness are found to be insensitive as part of this study, the tractable modeling approach from this research could be used in low-order vehicle design tools to quickly assess the influence of vehicle body stiffness on the ride comfort and handling performance of future vehicle designs.
Academic Major: Mechanical Engineering
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