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biosystems engineering 105 (2010) 189197

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Research Paper

Assessing the safety provided by SAE J2194 Standard and Code 4 Standard code for testing ROPS, using nite element analysis
n J.R. Alfaro, I. Arana*, S. Arazuri, C. Jare
Dpto. de Proyectos e Ingenier a Rural, Universidad Pu blica de Navarra, Campus Arrosad a, 31006 Navarra, Spain

article info
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2194 Standard and Code 4 tests are dened by Article history: Received 2 April 2009 Received in revised form 9 October 2009 Accepted 22 October 2009 Published online 24 November 2009 parameters depending on a reference mass, usually the unladen mass of the tractor. As overturn energy is proportional to mass, and the maximum permissible mass of tractors has greatly increased in recent years, is now possible that these standards do not provide enough safety for highly laden vehicles. A nite element (FE) analysis program was used to develop a procedure to calculate the maximum reference mass in the equations that dene the energies to be absorbed by roll-over protective structure (ROPS), during loading tests, and the forces to be exerted during crushing tests. Thus, the validity of the Code 4 and SAE J2194 Standard were examined. A test procedure was carried out using four tractor models. The cause of the test failure was, in all four cases, the collapse of the ROPS before it infringed the clearance zone. It was shown that the current codes provide sufcient safety margins for only three of the four tractor models tested. The tests demonstrated that FE methods can be used to design safer ROPS. 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of IAgrE.

1.

Introduction

The SAE J2194 Standard (1997) and the OECD Standard Code 4 (2005) for testing roll-over protective structures (ROPSs) were developed on the basis of the research carried out in the 1970s by Chisholm (1979a,b,c). He concluded that the energy absorbed was proportional to the decrease in the potential energy during the overturning. The tests derived from these standards were dened by parameters such as energy or force, and depended on tractor mass. Both the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standards use the following sequence of test: rear longitudinal loading, rst crushing, loading from the side and then second crushing. Loading tests are stopped at the

moment that a certain value of the energy absorbed by the ROPS is reached. Crushing tests are also stooped when a certain force is maintained for 5 s. These energy and force values are dened by means of three equations that are a function of the tractor reference mass, usually the unladen mass. These standards, and their equations, have been widely used for many years. In the eld, the mass affecting overturning is the mass that the tractor has at that time, because it is this mass that develops the impact energy that the ROPS and the tractor must withstand. Of course, it is not possible to use the eld mass for testing ROPS because it is not known beforehand. In recent years, the maximum permissible mass, above unladen weight, for many tractor models has increased. Therefore, it is possible that the validity of the methods used by the Code 4

* Corresponding author. E-mail address: ignacio.arana@unavarra.es (I. Arana). 1537-5110/$ see front matter 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of IAgrE. doi:10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2009.10.007

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Nomenclature EIL1 EIS F required energy absorbed by the ROPS during the rear test, J required energy absorbed by the ROPS during the side-test, J applied force during crushing tests, N

FE M OECD ROPS SAE SRP

nite element tractor reference mass, kg Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development roll-over protective structure Society of Automotive Engineers seat reference point

and the SAE J2194 Standard, which is based on the unladen tractor mass, is questionable and is not capable of providing sufcient safety margins for the highly ballasted tractors, during an overturn. If the reference mass is to be changed, the whole sequence of the test should be redone. It is possible to apply these standards to a tractor model by using increasing values for the reference mass, but this would be costly. Finite element (FE) analysis has been used to design ROPS and to predict the deformation produced in ROPS during the tests dened by the codes. Rusinski (1987) designed a cab made of laminated materials, using FE methods. Wen et al. (1994) developed an FE model to estimate the strength of the axle housing of a common pre-ROPS tractor John Deere 720. Harris et al. (2000) compared the results from eld rearward overturns to those obtained during the rear loading test dened by SAE J2194 norm. Fabbri and Ward (2002) developed an FE analysis program to simulate the ROPS behaviour, when tested according to OECD/European Economic Community (EEC) codes. Silleli et al. (2008) used Finite Element (FE) analysis to verify the results from the static loading test performed to determine the strength of an anchor mechanism designed by the authors to increase the operator clearance zone. This research sought to use the FE methods to develop a procedure to calculate the maximum mass which is used as reference mass in the equations dening the energies to be absorbed by the ROPS, during the loading tests, and the forces to be exerted during the crushing tests. It was hoped that this could establish the validity of the Code 4 and SAE J2194 Standard tests. In addition, the research sought to assess the ability of FE methods to evaluate the safety provided by commercial ROPS and to design safer ROPS.

greater than, the required energy input established by Code 4, is given by: EIL1 1:4M (1)

where EILI required absorbed energy (J); M tractor reference mass (kg), usually unladen mass is used. The crushing force established by Code 4 is given: F 20M (2)

where F applied force (N ); M tractor reference mass (kg). This force is maintained for 5 s after cessation of any visually detectable movement of the protective structure. The energy required to stop the side-loading test is given by: EIS Joules 1:75M kg (3)

2.
2.1.

Material and methods


Code 4 Standard code for testing ROPS

Code 4 is the OECD procedure for the ofcial testing of protective structures on tractors used in agriculture and forestry. Tractors with at least two axles with wheels tted with pneumatic tyres, or having tracks instead of wheels and with an unballasted mass 600 kg have to be homologated by the use of Code 4. According to the coded the ROPS must be tested by a sequence of four static tests and must reach a predened level of absorbed energy. The sequence consists of a longitudinal loading test, a rst crushing test, a loading from the side-test, and then a second crushing test. The longitudinal loading has to be stopped when the energy absorbed by the protective structure is equal to, or

where EIS required absorbed energy (J); M tractor reference mass (kg). The second crushing force applied is equal to the rst (Eq. 2). To be accepted under the testing standards, the ROPS must full further conditions during and after completion of the tests. Firstly, no part will either enter the drivers clearance zone, as shown in Fig. 1, or strike the seat during the tests. The clearance zone is referred to the seat reference point (SRP) which is dened as the point in the median plane of the seat where the tangential plane of the backrest and a horizontal plane intersect. Secondly, it is necessary to take into account the exposure criterion (Ayers et al., 1994). The clearance zone, dened and located by Code 4, should not be outside the protection of the ROPS. For this purpose, a structure is considered to be outside the protection of the structure if any part of that structure comes in contact with at ground when the tractor overturns towards the direction from which the test load is applied. To estimate this, the tyres and track width settings must be the smallest standard size specied by the manufacturer. At the point at which the required energy absorption is met in the horizontal loading tests, the force has to be >0.8Fmax.

2.2.

SAE J2194 Standard for testing ROPS

The SAE J2194 uses the same equations dened by Code 4 but the reference mass is a value, not less than the tractor mass, which is dened as the unladen mass in operating order with tanks and radiators full, protective structures tted with cladding and with any wheel equipment or additional frontwheel drive components required to support the tractor static weight.

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Fig. 1 Clearance zone as dened by Code 4, distances expressed in mm.

2.3.

Tractor models

2.5. The calculation of the deformations and the energies absorbed by the ROPS
The vertical forces, the horizontal loads exerted, and the application points used during the tests, were dened by Code 4 and SAE J2194 Standard. For FE simulation, the forces were applied as dened in the Standards and the deformations were determined. The area under the forcedeformation curve is the energy absorbed by the ROPS. The simulations used the FE analysis program Swanson Analysis Systems (ANSYS) (ANSYS Inc. Canonsburg, USA). To simulate the plastic behaviour it is necessary to enter into ANSYS the specic straindeformation diagram of the ROPS material. For ROPS mounted on tractor models B, C and D it was necessary to enter the behaviour curve for the sound/vibration isolators. In the simulation, some restrictions were made. The ROPS are mounted to the tractor chassis and parts of the ROPS are joined by means of screws to the chassis. Thus, a restriction introduced in the ANSYS program is that the union surfaces between the supports of the ROPS and the tractor do not suffer displacement during the tests. For ROPS mounted on tractor A these surfaces are those from the upper plate of the attachment bolt (Mangado et al., 2007b). The design computer program 3D Solidworks (SolidWorks Corp., Massachusetts, USA) was used to develop a three-

Four tractor models were tested in Authorised Stations for testing ROPS. The rst tractor, designated A, was a tractor without a manufacturer designed ROPS. However, a ROPS had been mounted on the tractor. The other tractor models were designated B, C and D with tractor models C and D being quite similar in the design. Their forcedeformation curves were used to develop an FE analysis program to calculate the deformations produced in the ROPS during the tests dened by Code 4 and SAE J2194 Standard. The program was also used to simulate the ROPS tests beyond the forces and energies calculated, using Code 4 methodology, until the collapse of the ROPS or until the clearance zone was infringed. The results calculated with the software were then compared to the tests, made at the OECD test stations, in order to validate the method. This program has been used to simulate ROPS tests according to Code 4 and to calculate the energy required to get a failure of the test in a cab or a 4-post frame. Therefore, it is possible to increment the reference mass, compatible with a positive result of the loading and crushing tests, if the forcedeformation curves from the ROPS Code 4 or the SAE J2194 tests are available. The characteristics of the four tractors are shown in Table 1.

2.4.

The ROPS mounted on the tractor models

Table 1 Most determinant characteristics for the tests made on the different tractor models Tractor model A
3000 3600 1552 570 130 In front

B
3188 3680 1436 631 805 In front

C
4165 6200 1510 763.4 176 In front

D
4175 7300 1510 746 162 In front

The ROPS mounted on tractor model A was a simple 4-post frame, designed and calculated, using the ESTREMA program (Mangado et al., 2007a; Arana et al., 2008) and completely made of St. 42 steel. The ROPS mounted on tractor model B was a commercial cab. On tractors C and D, the same commercial cab was mounted on both tractor models, although they differ in their attachment methods. Fig. 2 shows the ROPS mounted on tractor models B, C and D; they also include sound/vibration isolators.

Unladen mass (kg) Maximum permissible mass (kg) Minimum width (mm) SRP height (mm) Horizontal distance from housing to SRP (mm) SRP in front or behind the housing

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Fig. 2 ROPS mounted on B and C and D tractor models.

dimensional (3D) model of the ROPS. Prior to the use of ANSYS to calculate the deformations produced by the exerted forces on the cabs, it is necessary to make a mesh of the different parts included in the ROPS. This mesh was used to net the whole of the ROPS volume. Tetrahedral elements were chosen because they provided most secure results. The tetrahedrons are linked together to create the mesh and each junction between the elements is called node. Meshing is important because ANSYS uses a matrix calculation based on the equilibrium of the nodes through a system of equations for the equilibrium of each element. In the ROPS, the mesh of tetrahedrons was chosen at random because it was considered the best method to control deformations in the parts of the structure. It was also chosen because the random distribution provides lower numbers of nodes and elements which help to facilitate rapid calculations. At points of singularity it was necessary to control the deformation more closely by a regular distribution of tetrahedral elements. A general mesh was used for most parts but a specic, denser,

mesh, was used at attachment points, where there were strain concentrations. The specic mesh used was a face and body sizing. Fig. 3 shows an example mesh for one of the supports of the ROPS mounted on tractor C. It is possible to see the general mesh used in most of the support and the specic meshes used in the different parts of the vibration/ sound isolation block. For the ROPS, mounted on tractor model B, a general mesh was developed which included 125 999 elements and 237 636 nodes, with each element size being 155 mm. In addition to the general mesh, two specic meshes were developed. A body sizing with an element size of 60 mm was used for the vibration/sound isolation blocks and two face sizings were used for the different metallic surfaces included in the ROPS. The number of elements and nodes used for the general mesh for the ROPS mounted on tractor models C and D were 164 658 and 309 407. For tractor model D they were 309 407 and 230 649 respectively. In both C and D ROPS, specic meshes, body sizing and face sizing, were also used.

Fig. 3 Mesh used to model the support for the ROPS mounted on tractor model C.

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3.

Results and discussion

To use the ANSYS program for calculating the ROPS deformations during the tests, it was necessary to achieve force deformation curves similar to those obtained during the real tests made with the four studied tractor models. The greater the similarity between the predicted and calculated curves the greater the ability of ANSYS to simulate the behaviour of the ROPS, during tests or overturns. This ability is crucial because it allows data from Code 4 and SAE J2194 Standard tests to be used, beyond the point dened by these Standards and the point where the test was stopped. Fig. 4 shows the similarity between forcedeformation curves, measured and predicted using ANSYS, for the four tractor models studied and for the loading side-test, which was the critical test for the four ROPS studied. As there was close agreement between the forcedeformation curves, it was possible to use ANSYS to calculate the maximum energy that could be absorbed by the ROPS before its collapse and before the clearance zone was infringed. By substituting this energy value in Eqs. 13, it is easy to calculate the maximum reference mass for the tests of a particular ROPS mounted on a given tractor model. A procedure to calculate the maximum reference mass that allows the different tractor models to be homologated has been developed in this research. This procedure designated maximum admissible reference mass obtaining (MARMO). The procedure includes a simulation of the extension of the Code 4 tests until the critical point determined by ANSYS; the identication of the critical test, that leads to a negative result of the sequence of tests; the calculation of the area under the forcedeformation curve that is equivalent to the energy absorbed by the ROPS up to the critical point and the calculation of the

reference mass, which substituted into Code 4 or SAE J2194 equations that determine the energy required to be absorbed by the ROPS in the critical test, and produce an energy value equivalent to that absorbed by the ROPS without leading to the test failure. The critical point that causes test failure is determined by the minimum strength that causes the ROPS collapse or makes that the clearance zone is infringed. The exposure criterion has been taken into account in all cases. This critical strength in all the four tractor models tested occurred because of the side-loading test. Thus, although a simulation of all the four tests was developed, only the extension of the side-test is reported here. Fig. 5a shows the deformation produced by a force of 53 kN in the ROPS mounted on tractor model A. It is possible to check that the ROPS is near to the clearance zone, but it does not infringe it. The absence of any infringement of the clearance zone is not the only acceptance condition. Fig. 5b shows the strains produced on this ROPS when a 52 kN force is used during the side-test. The maximum strain produced is 318.27 MPa and, although the ROPS is 76 mm away from the clearance zone, it could collapse. In Fig. 5b the point where the strain is close to the ROPS material tensile yield strength is highlighted. The special characteristics of this ROPS, designed using a computer program in a farm workshop (Mangado et al., 2007b), required us to be more cautious and to x the strength of 52 kN as the critical force that could lead to the collapse of the ROPS. The energy absorbed by the ROPS when the force applied reached 52 kN was 7.536 kJ. Substituting this value into Eq. 3, it was possible to check that the maximum mass, used as reference mass in the equations was 4306 kg. The ratio between this predicted value and the unladen mass of the tractor, given in Table 1, is 1.44. It is therefore possible to determine that the maximum ballast that maintains the

Fig. 4 Comparison between the forcedeformation curves, measured and predicted using ANSYS, for the side-loading test for tractor models: A, B, C and D.

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Fig. 5 Deformation and strain in the ROPS mounted on tractor model A, as calculated using ANSYS.

demandable safety level for the driver is 44% of the unladen tractor mass. As the maximum permissible ballast of this tractor is 20% of its unladen mass, as shown in Table 1, this tractor model is sufciently protected using the Code 4 or SAE J2194 tests, in the event of an overturn. Fig. 6 shows the deformations and strains produced in the ROPS mounted on tractor model B, when the force applied reached 48 kN. At this moment the deformation was 268 mm, which is 282 mm lower than the maximum admissible deformation, but at some points, the strain reached values close to the tensile yield strength of the ROPS material,

460 MPa. Thus, this ROPS could succeed in a side-loading test if the force applied did not exceed 48 kN. At this force, the energy absorbed by the ROPS would be 9.371 kJ. The maximum mass required to achieve a positive result from the test would be 5355 kg. The ratio between this mass and its unladen mass is 1.64, thus the maximum admissible ballast for driver protection would be 64% of the tractor unladen mass. As the maximum permissible ballast for this tractor is 16% of its unladen mass, it is possible to state that this tractor model is sufciently protected by the use of the Code 4 or SAE J2194 tests in case of an overturn.

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Fig. 6 Deformation and strain produced in the ROPS of tractor model B at 48 kN force, as calculated using ANSYS.

Fig. 7 shows the deformations and strains produced in the ROPS mounted on tractor model C, which have been calculated using ANSYS, when the strength reaches 53 kN during the side-loading test. This force is 4 kN above that reached when the energy required by Code 4 equation is reached. The ROPS is close to the clearance zone but a greater deformation is possible without infringement. The strains reached 417 MPa in some points of the ROPS. Thus, this is the critical point at which the test should be stopped because the strain is too close to the tensile yield strength ROPS material, which is 420 MPa. Therefore, the ROPS could succeed in a side-loading test if the maximum force does not exceed 53 kN. The energy absorbed by the ROPS, calculated using ANSYS, was 11.807 kJ. The maximum mass, used as the reference mass that would determine a positive result from the test would be 6747 kg. From the data shown in Table 1 the ratio between this mass

and the unladen mass is 1.59. Thus the maximum ballast that maintains the required driver safety is 59% of its unladen mass. This tractor model is enough protected using the Code 4 or SAE J2194 tests because the maximum permissible ballast is 48% of its unladen mass. Fig. 8 shows the deformations and strains produced in tractor model D when the force applied is 57 kN. This is 3.5 kN above that reached when the energy required by Code 4 or SAE J2194 equations is reached. At this point, the deformation was 318 mm, which is lower than the maximum admissible deformation that is 457 mm. However, the strain reached values around 420 MPa, which is the tensile strength of the material. At some points, the strain values very slightly exceeded the tensile yield strength but in an area small enough for us to predict that the ROPS would not collapse before this moment. The absorbed energy value was 12.712 kJ;

Fig. 7 Deformation and strain produced in the ROPS of tractor model C at 53 kN force, as calculated using ANSYS.

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Fig. 8 Deformation and strain produced in the ROPS of tractor model D at 57 kN force, as calculated using ANSYS.

the maximum mass, used as a reference mass, needed to achieve a positive result in the test would be 7264 kg. The ratio between this mass and its unladen mass, according to the data shown in Table 1, is 1.71. Hence, the maximum permissible ballast for the operator to be protected would be 71% of its unladen mass. As the permissible ballast for this tractor model is 75%, it is not possible to ensure that Code 4 or SAE J2194 tests provide enough safety for this tractor model. For the four tractor models, equipped with ROPS, the structure has collapsed before the clearance zone was infringed. This is supported by evidence from some recent accidents in the E.U., including an overturn of a tractor equipn ped with a homologated ROPS (AGR/CA/T 2007, cited by Jare et al., 2009). In these accidents the ROPS collapsed and in some cases it was deformed so severely that continuous rolling of the tractor occurred, implying a very serious risk to the driver. As reported, tractor models C and D were quite similar in design and the same ROPS was mounted on them. The only difference between the tractors was in how the ROPS was xed to the tractor. Therefore, it is interesting to emphasise that the same ROPS was able to absorb a 7.67% higher energy when it was xed to the tractor using a different method. Fig. 9 shows the methods used to mount the ROPS on tractor models

C and D. The ROPS was xed to both tractors by means of six support pieces, two at the front and four at the rear. With regard to the rear supports, there are two at the top and two at the bottom. The supports at the top are the same for both tractor models, but the supports at the bottom are different. These differences are not decisive because they do not allow for different deformation. Therefore, they do not produce differences in the energy absorbed by the ROPS when a given strength is provided, during the side-test. However, the results from the supports at the front, installed on tractor models C and D show important differences. The supports on tractor model D were larger than tractor model C and allow a greater deformation when a given strength is exerted during the sidetest. Thus, the force leading to the collapse of the ROPS during the side-test, and the energy absorbed, is higher with tractor model D than tractor model C. The supports used are shown in Fig. 9. It is clear that there was not a great difference between these supports and that this difference should not increase the cost of the installing ROPS. Fig. 9 also shows that the supports lack of axial symmetry which means that the ROPS could have a different behaviour during right- and left-sided overturns. It might be necessary to test the ROPS displaying a lack of axial symmetry by testing

Fig. 9 Attachment methods for the ROPS in tractor models C and D.

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from each side, because it is not always possible to determine which of the two sides of a ROPS is the weakest. Thus, the higher energy absorbed by the ROPS mounted on tractor D, was caused by the way it was xed to the tractor. By increasing the allowed deformation of the ROPS supports it is possible to increase the energy absorbed by the ROPS, the safety level provided by them and the reference mass in the Code 4 or SAE J2194 tests. Using FE methods it is possible to evaluate how the xing elements and the different structural elements of the ROPS affect the safety level provided, as well helping to design safer ROPS.

4.

Conclusion

Because it has been shown that by using FE methods it is possible to obtain forcedeformation curves similar to those obtained in standardised tests, it can be concluded that FE methods can be used to evaluate ROPS. Using this methodology it has been possible to develop a procedure, designated MARMO, to calculate the minimum mass value which, used as reference mass in the equations dened by Code 4 or SAE J2194, leads to a negative result of the test. It was therefore possible to ensure that these codes provide a safety margin that is sufcient for three of the studied tractor models, but not for the fourth. It was also shown that it is feasible to use FE methodology to design safer ROPS.

Acknowledgement
This research has been possible because of nance from the Environmental, Rural and Marine Ministry, Spain. The authors thank to this Ministry for providing the test data.

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