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PAPER SERIES

2002-01-0965

Effects of Suspension Design

Aleksander Hac

Delphi Automotive Systems

(SP1656)

Detroit, Michigan

March 4-7, 2002

400 Commonwealth Drive, Warrendale, PA 15096-0001 U.S.A.

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Copyright 2002 Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.

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Printed in USA

2002-01-0965

Suspension Design

Aleksander Hac

Delphi Automotive Systems

Copyright 2002 Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.

ABSTRACT

In this paper a simple yet insightful model to predict

vehicle propensity to rollover is proposed, which

includes the effects of suspension and tire compliance.

The model uses only a few parameters, usually known

at the design stage. The lateral accelerations at the

rollover threshold predicted by the model are compared

to the results of simulations, in which vehicles with the

same static stability factor, but different suspension

characteristics and payloads are subjected to rollinducing handling maneuvers. The results of simulations

correlate well with the predictions based on the

proposed model. Design recommendations for passive

suspensions, which would increase rollover stability are

discussed.

INTRODUCTION

In recent years rollover has became an important safety

issue for a large class of vehicles. Even though rollovers

constitute a small percentage of all accidents, they have

unproportionally large contribution to severe and fatal

injuries. For example, rollover is the primary cause of

fatalities in accidents involving sport utility vehicles

(SUVs). There is an urgent need to develop both

analytical and experimental tools to predict rollover

propensity of vehicles and to improve their design from

the viewpoint of rollover resistance. Real-world rollovers

are complex events, involving a variety of factors, which

may have broad statistical distributions, and some of

these factors may be beyond control of vehicle

designers. Such factors include driver steering patterns,

type of road surface, type of shoulder, road and shoulder

inclination angles, existence of drop off in transition from

road to shoulder, coefficient of friction, presence or

absence of obstacles on the vehicle path, etc. In

addition, during rollover vehicle experiences a loss of

stability, a condition in which small changes in vehicle

parameters, inputs or environment can significantly

affect vehicle behavior. For these reasons, it is nearly

impossible to device a simple test or a method that

would reflect a majority of real-world rollover scenarios

and reliably determine rollover propensity. There is a

principles that would help the vehicle designer in

predicting and reducing rollover risk. One commonly

used indicator of rollover propensity is the lateral

acceleration at the rollover threshold. It provides a

measure of rollover resistance not only in the untripped,

maneuver induced rollovers, but also in some types of

tripped rollovers, such as tripping on soft soil, since

certain minimal lateral force is necessary do initiate

rollover.

There exists a variety of models, which predict vehicle

rollover propensity and in particular lateral acceleration

at the rollover threshold. They range from a simplistic

static stability factor ground (Garrot et al., 1999) at one

side of the spectrum to complex computer models (Allen

et al. , 1999) on the other. None of these extremes

provides significant insights into the effects of vehicle

suspension design on rollover propensity. Computer

models require a large number of parameters, which

may not be readily available, and pose problems in

interpreting the results. In particular, because of

complexities of the model, it is not easy to separate the

primary influences from the higher order effects, unless

other insights are available. Computer models do not

provide clear guidance regarding changes that could

improve the design if the results are not satisfactory.

Static stability factor is a ratio of half-track width to the

height of vehicle center of gravity above ground (Garrot

et al., 1999). This measure of rollover propensity reflects

only the most fundamental relationship. It is obtained

under the assumption that a vehicle is a rigid body and

ignores all higher order effects, in particular the effects

of suspension and tire compliance. In reality vehicle

suspension allows for significant movements of wheels

with respect to the body, resulting in changes in halftrack width and position of vehicle center of gravity

during large lateral acceleration. For vehicles with low

static stability factors, the cumulative effect of secondary

factors may be sufficient to reduce the lateral

acceleration threshold to the value achievable during

emergency handling maneuvers.

threshold, which include higher order effects to varying

degrees. Gillespie (1992) provides an expression for the

rollover threshold, which includes the effect of lateral

movement of vehicle center of gravity due to body roll.

Dixon (1996) gives a more refined formula, which in

addition to the effect of body roll, reflects the influences

of tire lateral distortion and the gyroscopic moments due

to wheel rotation. Bernard et al. (1989) provide

relationships for rollover thresholds of varying complexity

with the static stability factor being the simplest. The

more complex model includes the effects of lateral

movement of vehicle center of gravity, lateral tire

distortion and the effect of overshoot in roll angle during

dynamic maneuvers.

In this paper the major secondary effects resulting from

suspension and tire compliance affecting rollover

propensity are discussed. They include the effects of the

lateral movement of vehicle center of gravity due to body

roll during cornering, the effects of suspension

kinematics and of lateral compliance of tires, the effects

of jacking forces in suspension (which may elevate the

body center of gravity), the effects of damping, payload

and gyroscopic forces. A quasi-dynamic stability factor,

which reflects these secondary influences is proposed. It

can be viewed as an extension of the models proposed

earlier. The rollover stability threshold predicted by the

proposed factor is compared to the results of

simulations, in which a full vehicle model is subjected to

roll-inducing handling maneuvers. The vehicle has the

same static stability factor, but different suspension

characteristics and payloads. The results of simulations

correlate well with the predictions based on the simple

model.

Design

recommendations

for

passive

suspensions, which would increase the rollover stability,

are discussed. An analytical formula for the optimal

height of roll centers from the viewpoint of rollover

resistance is derived. The focus is on independent

suspensions, which become more common in modern

SUVs and afford the designer more freedom in selecting

suspension kinematics than the dependent suspensions.

The results of this paper are limited to vehicles with

passive suspensions and without stability enhancement

systems, or other active control systems, which may

have a profound effect on vehicle propensity to rollover.

The effects of active systems are discussed in a

separate paper.

ROLLOVER MODEL

Static stability factor is obtained by considering the

balance of forces acting on a rigid vehicle in steady-state

cornering. This is illustrated in Figure 1, where

deflections of tires and suspension are neglected.

During cornering the lateral tire forces on the ground

level (not shown) counterbalance the lateral inertial force

acting at vehicle center of gravity, resulting in a roll

moments of vertical forces. Taking moments about the

center of contact patches for the outside tires results:

TA = Mgtw/2 Mayh0 - Fzitw

(1)

vehicle track width (assumed the same front and rear),

ay is vehicle lateral acceleration, h0 the height of vehicle

center of gravity above ground, and Fzi the total normal

load on the inside tires.

normal load, Fzi, reaches zero. Hence at the rollover

threshold the lateral acceleration is

aylim = gtw/(2h0) = gSSF

(2)

Neglecting the compliances of suspensions and tires

leads to overestimation of rollover threshold. During

cornering vehicle body rolls about the roll axis, resulting

in the lateral shift of vehicle center of gravity towards

outside of turn. At the same time lateral forces of the

outside tires cause lateral deformation of the tires and

camber (i.e. rotation about the longitudinal axis) of the

wheels. All these factors contribute to the reduction of

the moment arm of the gravity force, which acts to

stabilize the vehicle. At the same time, vertical

movement of the wheel with respect to the body is

usually accompanied by the lateral movement, which

can change the half-track width. This lateral movement

is determined primarily by suspension kinematics. In

addition, the lateral forces are transmitted between the

body and the wheels by rigid suspension arms, which in

general are not parallel to the ground. Therefore these

link forces have vertical components, which in general

do not cancel out and may elevate vehicle center of

gravity. Most of these effects are illustrated in Figure 2.

The final result is the reduction of the effective half-track

width and usually increase in height of vehicle center of

addition, during cornering vehicle wheels rotate about

the lateral axis (axis of their rotation) and concurrently

about the vertical axis (the axis of vehicle turn). This

results in gyroscopic moments, which contribute to the

moment equation. Finally, in dynamic maneuvers, the

roll angle of vehicle body may exceed (overshoot) the

steady-state value. The amount of overshoot depends

on the type of maneuver, but for a given maneuver it is

related to the roll damping of suspension as well as

suspension stiffness and the body moment of inertia

about the roll axis. In what follows, each effect is

discussed separately and simplified equations are

provided which describe their impact on rollover

threshold as function of known vehicle parameters.

and Tires

VEHICLE BODY ROLL ANGLE

Under the influence of lateral inertial forces in steady

state cornering, vehicle body rolls about the roll axis by

an angle , which can approximately be determined as

= T / = Mshrollay /

(3)

vehicle sprung mass, hroll is the height of vehicle body

center of gravity above the roll axis and is the total roll

stiffness of vehicle suspension and tires. The term Mshroll

/ may be determined experimentally as a roll rate, that

is the body roll angle per unit lateral acceleration. It is

noted that the roll stiffness includes the tire stiffness,

since the body roll angle is measured with respect to the

road, and tire compliance (in vertical direction)

contributes to the roll angle. For SUVs their contribution

may exceed 1 degree of roll angle at maximum lateral

acceleration.

The body roll angle results in a lateral shift of vehicle

center of gravity, which may be interpreted as having an

effect of reducing the effective half-track width, or more

precisely the moment arm of gravity force. Alternatively,

the gravity force Mg can be decomposed into two

components as shown in Figure 2 with the lateral

equation as a destabilizing moment. This method was

selected in this paper. In any case, the body roll reduces

the stabilizing moment.

It should be noted that in the simplified analysis the

centers of gravity of vehicle and that of the body are

assumed to be collocated. This is a reasonable

simplification since the sprung mass is large as

compared to the unsprung mass, especially for vehicles

with independent suspensions. In more accurate

analysis body roll should be separated from axis roll.

CHANGE IN HALF-TRACK WIDTH

Due to lateral compliance of tires and suspension, as

well as changes in wheel lateral location due to

suspension kinematics and changes in camber angle,

the distance in lateral direction between the centerline of

vehicle and the tire contact patches is changed, usually

reduced, during cornering. In this paper this distance is

defined as a half-track width.

The approximate analysis of the change in half-track

width under dynamic conditions presented here is

conducted using average values for front and rear

suspensions and tire parameters. For most vehicles this

simplification can be used without introducing

unacceptable errors. When geometry and compliance of

front and rear suspensions are significantly different, the

analysis presented here can be conducted separately

for front and rear axle, and then results can be

combined.

Assuming a linear tire model, the lateral displacements

of the tire contact patches with respect to the body

resulting from lateral distortion of tires is proportional to

the lateral force, which in turn is approximately equal to

the product of lateral acceleration and vehicle mass.

Thus the reduction in half-track width due to tire

compliance is

tw1 = May/kyt

(4)

Suspension Kinematics

because of suspension kinematics and secondarily due

to lateral compliance of suspension elements. The first

effect is illustrated in Figure 3. During suspension

deflection, the wheel rotates with respect to the body

about the instantaneous center of rotation (point C)

located on the line connecting the tire contact patch with

the roll center (point R). This results in wheel

displacement in lateral direction and a change of the

wheel camber angle with respect to the body. A

cumulative effect of both can be analyzed by tracking

the path of the contact point A between the tire and the

road during suspension deflection. In a first

approximation, this path is perpendicular to the line AC.

Thus the increase in the half-track width resulting from

suspension compression of z is

tw2 = ztan = z2hrollc/tw

(6)

kinematics is proportional to lateral acceleration.

Additional change caused by the lateral compliance of

suspension elements can also be factored in, since it is

proportional to the lateral force and therefore lateral

acceleration. It will generally act to reduce the half-track

width, so it would decrease the value of tw2. The total

reduction in half track width resulting from tire lateral

compliance and suspension kinematics is:

tw = tw1- tw2

(8)

both y and z. The symbol I denotes the moment of

inertia of the body about the axis of rotation, y, and is a

vector product.

During a cornering maneuver vehicle wheels are

spinning with the angular velocity

y = v/rd

(9)

wheels also rotate (with the entire vehicle) with angular

velocity

z = v/R

(10)

(5)

horizontal line and hrollc is the height of roll center above

ground. If the roll center is located below ground level,

the distance hrollc is negative and the half-track width is

reduced during suspension compression. During

cornering, the compression of outside suspension is

approximately a linear function of roll angle (z = tw/2),

which in turn is proportional to lateral acceleration

(equation 3). This yields

tw2 = Mshrollhrollcay/

Tx = Iyz

(7)

where tw1 and tw2 are given by equations (5) and (6),

respectively. The negative sign in front of the second

term appears because tw2 is an increase in half-track

width.

EFFECT OF GYROSCOPIC FORCES DUE TO WHEEL

ROTATION

Any rigid body rotating about one axis (usually an axis of

symmetry) tends to resist rotation about another axis

perpendicular to the axis of rotation. If a body rotates

about its own axis of rotation, y, with an angular velocity

y, then the moment necessary to rotate this body about

another axis, z, with velocity z is (Hibbeler, 1989)

Thus the total gyroscopic moment about the x axis,

which is approximately parallel to the axis of vehicle roll,

is

Tx = 4Iwv2/(rdR)

(11)

wheel about the axis of rotation. Since Iw = mww2, where

mw is the wheel mass and w denotes the wheel radius of

gyration, and in the steady state cornering ay = v2/R,

equation (11) can be written as

Tx = 4mww2ay/rd

(12)

acceleration.

EFFECT OF JACKING FORCES

During cornering maneuvers on smooth roads vehicle

body is usually subjected to vertical forces, often

referred to as jacking forces, which tend to lift the

vehicle center of gravity above the static location. In

steady-state cornering there are primarily two sources of

jacking forces: nonlinearities in suspension stiffness

characteristics and vertical components of forces

transmitted by suspension links. Suspension stiffness

characteristics are usually progressive, that is stiffness

increases with suspension deflection in order to maintain

good ride properties with a full load. During cornering

maneuvers, progressive characteristic of suspension

permits smaller deflection in compression of the outside

suspension than deflection in extension of the inside

suspension. As a result, height of vehicle center of

gravity increases. This effect is highly dependent on the

particular stiffness characteristic, so it is difficult to

capture in a general approach. It is neglected in the

present analysis.

suspension links. Lateral forces generated during

cornering maneuvers are transmitted between the body

and the wheels through relatively rigid suspension links.

In general these members are not parallel to the ground;

therefore the reaction forces in these elements have

vertical components, which usually do not cancel out,

resulting in a vertical net force, which pushes the body

up.

20% below the threshold computed from the static

stability factor):

that forces transmitted between the vehicle body and a

wheel through lateral arms are dynamically equivalent to

a single force, which reacts along the line from the tire

contact patch to the roll center of suspension. The roll

center is by definition the point in the transverse vertical

plane, at which lateral forces applied to the sprung mass

do not produce suspension roll. This is illustrated in

Figure 4 for a double A arm suspension.

h = 0.8(hrollc/h0)(Msg/kst)

ay = 0.8gtw/(2h0)

(16)

only on higher order terms in subsequent analysis.

Equations (15) and (16) yield

(17)

suspension.

Taking moments about the center of contact patches of

the outside wheel for the compliant vehicle model shown

in Figure 2, one obtains at the rollover threshold

TA = M(h0+h)ay - Mgcos(tw/2 tw)

+ Mgsinh0cos + 4mww2ay/rd = 0

(18)

gyroscopic moment according to equation (12). Using a

small roll angle assumption, substituting tw from

equations (4) through (7) and ignoring higher order

terms, yields the following expression for the lateral

acceleration at the rollover threshold:

gtw/(2h0)

ay = ---------------------------------------------------------------- =

[1 + h/h0 + Msghroll(1-hrollc/h0)/ + Mg/(kyth0)

+ 4mww2/(Mh0rd)]

Figure 4. Roll Center and Jacking Force

The resultant force of two reactions in the links, F, is

inclined under an angle to the horizontal plane, such

that

tan = 2hrollc/tw

(13)

and tw is the track width. In the limit steady state

cornering maneuver, the total lateral force in the links Fy

= Msay. Thus the vertical component of the link force, Fz,

is

Fz = Fy tan = 2Mshrollcay/tw

(14)

the body center of gravity equal to

h = Fz/kst = 2Mshrollcay/(twkst)

(15)

suspension in vertical direction. In order to simplify

subsequent equations, it can be assumed that for an

average SUV the lateral acceleration at the rollover

gSSF

= ------------------------------------------------------------------[1+ h/h0 + Msghroll(1-hrollc/ h0)/ + Mg/(kyth0)

+ 4mww2/(Mh0rd)]

(19)

The incremental change in the height of vehicle center of

gravity, h, is given by equation (17). It is seen that the

lateral acceleration at the rollover threshold is lower than

that computed from the static stability factor. The terms

contributing to the reduction in lateral acceleration

threshold along with the typical range of values for an

SUV are listed below.

h/h0 is the effect of the increase in the height of center

of gravity resulting from jacking forces; it may contribute

up to 5% to the reduction in the lateral acceleration

threshold. It is small for suspensions with roll centers

close to the ground and nearly linear stiffness

characteristics. It tends to increase as the height of roll

center increases, according to equation (17).

Msghroll/ is the effect of lateral displacement of vehicle

center of gravity due to body roll and may contribute 5 to

12% (SUVs tend to roll more than passenger cars

because of high center of gravity and large suspension

on roll rate of vehicle, Mshroll/. It decreases with

increasing roll stiffness of suspension and with

increasing height of roll centers, which reduces the

distance hroll.

Msghrollhrollc/(h0) is the effect of increase in half-track

width as the result of suspension kinematics. It depends

primarily on the height of the roll center above ground,

hrollc. It is the only factor that increases vehicle stability if

roll center is above ground. It contributes up to 5%

increase in lateral acceleration threshold and may

partially offset the effects of tire lateral compliance.

Mg/(kyh0) is the effect of reduction in half-track width due

to lateral compliance of tires; it contributes 3 to 8%

(again this value tends to be larger for SUVs because of

high profile, compliant tires). It decreases with the

increasing lateral stiffness of tires.

4mww2/(Mh0rd) is the effect of gyroscopic forces, which

contributes only 1 to 1.5%.

The effect of gyroscopic forces is very small and can be

neglected. The largest contributing factors are the lateral

displacement of vehicle center of gravity and the lateral

compliance of tires, followed by the effects of

suspension kinematics and change in height of vehicle

center of gravity. With the exception of tire lateral

compliance, each one of these factors can be

significantly influenced by suspension design. All the

secondary factors combined can reduce the lateral

acceleration at the rollover threshold by as much as 2025% for a typical SUV.

In the above analysis steady-state cornering was

considered, in which the steady-state value of roll angle

was assumed. Since a vehicle is a dynamic system, it

usually exhibits an overshoot in roll response to

suddenly applied lateral acceleration. That is, the

maximum value of the roll angle during transient

exceeds the steady state value. The simplest model,

which captures this phenomenon is the second order roll

equation:

Isd2/dt2 + c d/dt + = T

(20)

respect to the roll axis, c is the total roll damping of front

and rear suspensions and is the total roll stiffness of

front and rear suspensions, including springs and roll

bars. T is the moment of external loads with respect to

the roll axis; in roll motion exited by lateral acceleration

T = -Msayhroll. If the lateral acceleration input is a unit

step, then T = T01(t) and the steady state roll angle is ss

= T0/. The maximum roll angle under dynamic

conditions is

max = ss(1 + os)

(21)

where os is the degree of overshoot above the steadystate value. For the model described by equation (20)

the degree of overshoot in response to a step function

can be determined analytically as

os = exp[-/(1-2)1/2]

(22)

the ratio of the actual roll damping, c, to the critical

damping ccr = 2(Is)1/2. Thus the damping ratio can be

expressed in terms of vehicle parameters as

= c / [2(Is)1/2]

(23)

ratio decreases, that is when the roll damping decreases

relatively to the roll stiffness and the moment of inertia.

Thus increasing the vehicle payload, which increases

the moment of inertia, without increasing damping,

results in reduced damping ratio and increased

overshoot.

The degree of overshoot depends on a particular type of

maneuver. Nearly ideal unit step in lateral acceleration

can be achieved when vehicle is sliding from low friction

surface onto the high-friction one, but it is impossible to

achieve with a step steer, or any steering input on

uniform surface, because lateral acceleration does not

build up instantaneously. Thus the actual overshoot in a

step steer maneuver will usually be substantially less

than the one identified by equation (22), especially when

the roll mode is heavily underdamped. It is therefore

more realistic to consider a step function, in which the

lateral acceleration increases linearly within a finite

period time, as in a ramp function. This is discussed in

more detail in the simulation section.

The moment equation (18) can now be modified to

include the effect of roll angle overshoot in transient

maneuvers. This yields the following equation for lateral

acceleration at the rollover threshold:

gtw/(2h0)

ay = -------------------------------------------------------------------[1+ h/h0 + Msghroll(1-hrollc/ h0)(1+os)/ + Mg/(kyth0)

+ 4mww2/(Mh0rd)]

(24)

Equation (24) provides a simple model to determine

rollover threshold using only a few parameters. It permits

one to approximately determine the effects of various

design parameters on rollover propensity. For example,

it is seen that vehicle payload will usually increase

vehicle tendency to rollover because of increased mass

and moment of inertia which tend to increase the steadystate, and especially the dynamic, roll angle, as well as

contribute to reduction of half-track width due to tire

compliance. It may also increase the height of vehicle

center of gravity. As expected, increasing roll stiffness

will improve rollover resistance due to reduction of body

roll angle (and associated lateral displacement of the

center of gravity), but it should be accompanied by an

increase in roll damping. Otherwise the damping ratio

and the overshoot will increase, which may reduce the

benefit of higher roll stiffness in dynamic maneuvers.

ROLLOVER

Equations (19) and (24) indicate how various vehicle

and suspension design parameters can affect the lateral

acceleration at the rollover threshold, and thereby

vehicle resistance to rollover. While the influences of

suspension roll stiffness or damping are obvious, the

effect of height of roll center is not so transparent.

Increasing the roll center height has both positive and

negative influences on vehicle rollover stability. On one

hand, high roll centers tend to increase the jacking

forces and hence increase the height of vehicle center of

mass during cornering. On the other hand, they reduce

the roll angle of vehicle and the associated lateral

displacement of vehicle center of mass, and contribute

to the incremental increase in half-track width due to

suspension kinematics, tw2. It is often the case that

when a design variable exerts influences acting in

opposite directions, there exists an optimal value for this

variable. The location of roll center is no exception to

this general rule.

Let us neglect the effect of dynamic overshoot and

consider the lateral acceleration threshold given by

equation (19). Since the numerator is a constant, the

lateral acceleration can be maximized by minimizing the

denominator with respect to the roll center height.

Bearing in mind that hroll = h0-hrollc and substituting the

value of h from equation (17), denominator of equation

(19) can be expressed as the following quadratic

function of roll center height, hrollc:

f(hrollc) = ahrollc2 bhrollc + c

(25)

a = Msg/(h0) ,

(26)

= b/2a. In terms of vehicle parameters, this yields the

following optimal value:

hrollcopt = 2h0 0.8/(ksth0)

(27)

rollover resistance depends on the nominal height of

vehicle center of gravity and the ratio of suspension roll

stiffness, , to the total vertical stiffness of suspension,

kst. In practice, the value obtained from equation (27)

would be subject to limitations resulting from other

design constraints, such as allowable changes in

camber angle (limited for example by tire wear) and

limitation of variations in track width. Large variations of

track width with suspension travel, especially when

occuring on the front axle, affect straight line stability

during driving on rough roads (Reimpell and Stoll, 1996).

For the vehicle parameters used in this study (a midsize

SUV) the height of center of gravity, h0 = 0.652 m, the

total vertical stiffness of suspension kst = 74,000 N/m

and the total roll stiffness, = 66,500 Nm/rad.

Substituting these values into equation (27) yields the

optimal value of 0.201 m, which is slightly higher than

typically used. However, the optimal value is quite

sensitive to the ratio /kst. For example, increasing the

roll stiffness by 10% by employing stiffer roll bars, would

reduce this value to 0.087 m. In most vehicles the roll

center of the front suspension is lower than that of the

rear.

RESULTS OF SIMULATIONS

In order to verify the accuracy of the proposed model,

vehicle simulations were conducted using a full-car 16degree of freedom vehicle model, which was validated

against vehicle test data. The model permits simulation

of vehicle dynamics under large roll angles, significantly

exceeding the angle corresponding to two-wheel lift off

condition. The vehicle used in simulation is a midsize

sport utility vehicle with all independent suspensions and

a marginal static stability factor of only 1.09 in unladen

state. In order to make the vehicle easier to roll over

during severe handling maneuvers, the lateral

acceleration capability of the vehicle was slightly

increased by assuming more aggressive than standard

tires.

In an attempt to induce the rollover by aggressive

steering maneuvers, the steering patterns illustrated in

Figure 6 were used. They represent a J-turn maneuver

and a fishhook maneuver. In each case the steering rate

which corresponds to the maximum rates that can be

generated by human drivers. All maneuvers were

performed with the entry speed of 25 m/s (about 56

mph), but with increasing amplitudes A of steering angle

up to the point when either the maximum steering angle

of 540 degrees was reached, or the vehicle rolled over.

Responses in J-turn and Fishhook Maneuvers

The first series of simulations was conducted to evaluate

the degree of overshoot in handling maneuvers with

rapid changes in steering angle. In Figure 7 the degree

of overshoot computed from equation (22) is plotted as a

function of damping ratio, for the roll mode. The

nominal value of is 0.261. The degrees of overshoot

obtained from full car simulations of both maneuvers are

also shown in Figure 7 for several damping levels

ranging from half to double the nominal value. The roll

angle and lateral acceleration responses are illustrated

in Figure 8 for both steering patterns and the nominal

level of damping. The amplitudes of the steering angle

were 54 and 27 degrees for the J-turn and fishhook

steering patterns, respectively.

immediately after a step in steering angle, the simple

model over-predicts the overshoot when damping is low.

For very firm damping, however, the model

underestimates the degree of overshoot. This occurs

because in full vehicle simulations the lateral

acceleration rises above its steady-state value after

rapid changes in steering angle, which in turn causes

the roll angle to overshoot. The overshoot in lateral

acceleration is caused primarily by dynamic increase of

tire normal forces due to transient body roll and heave,

which increases lateral forces and consequently lateral

acceleration.

A better match between the degree of overshoot

obtained from simulations and from the analytical

formula can be obtained if a more realistic ramp function

in lateral acceleration instead of a step function is used.

For example, the dotted curve in figure (7) illustrates the

overshoot calculated when the lateral acceleration rises

linearly from zero to the final value in 0.5 seconds. This

line is much closer to the simulation test data. Within the

range of damping usually encountered in SUVs, the

degree of overshoot can be approximated by the

following linear function

os = 0.35 0.4

(28)

effects of changes in payload and selected suspension

design parameters on the rollover propensity. For this

purpose vehicles with the following parameter variations

were considered:

Ratio

parameters and without payload.

but it carries an additional payload of 500 kg. The

payload, in addition to changing inertial properties,

causes a slight increase in the height of vehicle

center of mass, a shift of the center to the rear, and

deflection of suspension (which shifts its operating

point towards higher stiffness and facilitates

bottoming of suspension during cornering).

3) Vehicle 3 is the same as the baseline, but with front

and rear roll bar stiffness double the nominal values

and the damping coefficients increased by 25%.

This corresponds to the increase of total roll stiffness

by 41%. The damping was increased in order to

maintain approximately the same damping ratio in

the roll mode despite increase in roll stiffness.

4) Vehicle 4 is the base vehicle with both roll center

heights increased to the optimal value calculated

from equation (27).

Responses of each vehicle to both steering patterns with

increasing amplitudes were simulated from an initial

speed of 25 m/s (56 mph). The nominal vehicle did not

roll over in the J-turn maneuver regardless of the

amplitude of the steering wheel angle, but with full

payload it rolled over for the steering angle of 70

degrees and at a rather low lateral acceleration of 6.78

m/s2. Traces of lateral acceleration and roll angle for

both vehicles in a J-turn with 90 degrees steering input

are compared in Figure 9.

Oversteer is known to be a contributing factor in

rollovers (Marine et al., 1999) since peak lateral forces

on tires of both axles are developed at relatively large

side slip angles. In the case of fishhook maneuver both

the nominal vehicle 1 and the vehicle 2 with payload

rolled over, but the vehicle with payload did at the lower

level of lateral acceleration and at a lower steering

angle.

Simulations performed for vehicle 3 (with increased roll

stiffness and roll damping) and vehicle 4 (with modified

suspension geometry) indicate that neither of them can

be rolled over in J-turn or fishhook maneuvers

regardless of the amplitude of steering angle. Thus

relatively minor changes in suspension design can

improve rollover resistance of vehicle with marginal

static stability factor. These improvements of resistance

to maneuver induced rollover for vehicle 3 and 4 were

predicted by the simplified model. The results of

simulations in the case of fishhook maneuver for

vehicles 3 and 4 as compared to the baseline vehicle 1

are shown in Figures 10 and 11, respectively.

Maneuver with the Steering Angle Amplitude of 90

Degrees

Maneuver with the Steering Angle of 90 Degrees

Simulation performed for vehicle 2 was terminated when

the body roll angle reached 1 radian (57.3 degrees). The

vehicle with payload rolls over much easier because of

several factors: larger roll angle in handling maneuvers

due to increased inertia (which increases both the

steady state value and the dynamic overshoot),

tendency of suspension to bottom in heavy cornering,

which increases jacking forces, larger reduction in half

track width due to lateral compliance of tires and

suspension under increased lateral forces, slightly

higher center of gravity, and shift of center of mass to

both cases. It is seen that both vehicles 3 and 4 remain

stable, while the baseline vehicle rolls over. It should be

noted, however, that the individual changes in

suspension parameters as defined by vehicle 3 and 4

are not sufficient to prevent the vehicle with full payload

from rolling over. Nevertheless, the steering angle

amplitude required to rollover these vehicles is larger

than for the base vehicle.

CONCLUSION

Maneuver with the Steering Angle Amplitude of 90

Degrees

In Table 1 the results of simulations in terms of the

accelerations at the rollover threshold are compared to

the values obtained from the equations (19) and (24).

The effect of gyroscopic moments was neglected in the

analytical models. Equation (24) includes the effect of

dynamic overshoot, while equation (19) does not. In the

third column the dynamic overshoot computed from the

theoretical formula (22) was used, while in the fourth

column the quasi-empirical equation (28) was utilized.

The value of lateral acceleration derived from simulation

is the maximum value of lateral acceleration in any of

the considered maneuvers, in which vehicle did not roll

over. Since in some cases there are peaks of extremely

short time duration, not sufficient to cause rollover, the

lateral acceleration was low-pass filtered. There is a

good agreement between the results of simulations and

those obtained from the analytical models, with the value

of lateral acceleration at the rollover threshold derived

from simulations being usually and very close to the

analytical result obtained from equation (24) with the

overshoot modeled by equation (28).

Vehicle

1

2

3

4

Aymax

(Eq. 19)

8.37

7.65

8.58

8.47

Table1

Aymax(Eqs.

24, 22)

8.04

7.16

8.35

8.25

Aymax(Eqs.

24, 28)

8.19

7.36

8.45

8.37

Aymax

(sim.)

8.18

6.78

8.39

8.33

the model tends to overestimate the lateral acceleration

at the rollover threshold. It is most likely due to the fact

that the simple model does not take suspension

nonlinearities into account, in particular the effect of

bottoming of suspension, which increases the height of

vehicle center of gravity and lateral tire forces under

dynamic conditions.

passive independent suspensions on rollover propensity

of vehicles with high center of gravity, such as SUVs,

were examined. A model derived from simple physical

principles was proposed to evaluate vehicle propensity

to rollover. The model includes the effects of lateral

movement of vehicle center of gravity during body roll,

the effects of suspension jacking forces, the effects of

changes in track width due to suspension kinematics,

the effects of tire lateral compliance, of gyroscopic

forces, and the effects of dynamic overshoot in the roll

angle. A simplified formula was derived for the lateral

acceleration at the rollover threshold, which includes the

effects of suspension design parameters, such as roll

stiffness and damping, stiffness in the heave mode and

locations of roll centers. Design guidelines for

suspension parameters to improve rollover resistance

were discussed. In particular, an analytical expression

for the optimal roll center height from the viewpoint of

rollover resistance was developed. The analytical results

obtained are supported by the results of simulations,

which show that the lateral accelerations at the rollover

threshold predicted by the model are in a reasonably

good agreement with the results of simulations. The

area of possible future improvements include modeling

of nonlinearities of suspension stiffness characteristics,

which play especially important role in modeling

rollovers of fully loaded vehicles. The results of analysis

and simulations also indicate that for a marginally stable

SUVs, the variations in suspension parameters can

change the character of vehicle response from unstable

to stable in typical dynamic rollover tests considered by

NHTSA, without changing the static stability factor.

REFERENCES

1. Allen, R. W., Rosenthal, T. J., Klyde, D. H. and

Hogue, J. R., 1999, Computer Simulation Analysis

of Light Vehicle Lateral/Directional Dynamic

Stability, SAE paper 1999-01-0124.

2. Bernard, J., Shannon, J. and Vanderploeg, M.,

1989, Vehicle Rollover on Smooth Surfaces, SAE

paper No. 891991.

3. Cooperrider, N., Thomas, T. and Hammond, S.,

1990, Testing and Analysis of Vehicle Rollover

Behavior, SAE paper No. 900366.

4. Dixon, J.C., 1996, Tires, Suspension and Handling,

SAE, Inc., Warrendale, PA 15096-0001.

5. Garrott, W. R., Howe, J. G. and Forkenbrock, G.,

1999, An Experimental Examination of Selected

Maneuvers that May Induce On-Road Untripped,

Light Vehicle Rollover Phase II of NHTSAs 19971998 Vehicle Rollover Research Program

6. Gillespie, T. D., 1992, Fundamentals of vehicle

Dynamics, SAE, Inc., Warrendale, PA 15096-0001.

Dynamics, MacMillan, Inc., New York.

8. Marine, M. C., Wirth, J. L. and Thomas T. M., 1999,

Characteristics of On-Road Rollovers, SAE paper

1999-01-0122.

9. Reimpell, J. and Stoll, H., 1996, The Automobile

Chassis. Engineering Principles, SAE, Inc.,

Warrendale, PA 15096-0001.

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