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The Influence of Roll and Weight

Transfer on Vehicle Handling

Christopher R. Carlson

April 20, 2004

D ynamic
D esign
L aboratory
.
Motivation

 Design decisions related to vehicle roll directly influence


the stability of the vehicle at the limits
 (If you get it wrong, you will probably end up sliding off
of the road)

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Goal of this Talk

 Introduce useful models for understanding vehicle roll


behavior.
• All models are wrong, some are useful
• Primarily static model insights today

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Overview

 What is a sway bar (stabilizer bar) ?


 Simple models of vehicle roll and assumptions
 Review approach
 Work through the dynamics and algebra of roll
 Interpret the mathematical results
 Summarize key points covered

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Stabilizer Bars

F=Kθ

 Essentially roll bars are torsional springs

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Stabilizer Bars II

Sf

 Stabilizer bars attach to the suspension and chassis and


provide forces through torsion

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Modeling Roll

{
{{
h1
hCG
hr
hf { Roll Axis
Roll Centers

 The roll axis connects the front and rear roll centers
 For small angles, this is not a bad assumption

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Modeling Roll II
Sr Sf
Fsir Frr Fsor Fsif Fsof

Fyir
M sr
Fyor
} hr
Fyif Msf
Frf
Fyof
} hf
Fzir Fzor Fzif Fzof

tr tf
Rear Axle FBD φ Front Axle FBD

}
may
mg
h1

Fsif Fsir Fsof Fsor


Frf Frr
M sf Mrf
Sprung Mass FBD

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Approach

 Solve for the roll angle in terms of lateral acceleration


 Solve for the weight transfer on each axle
 Interpret the effect of this weight transfer on handling
 Discuss how springs and roll bars are used to tune vehicle
behavior

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Sum the moments about the roll center
φ

}
may
mg
h1

Fsif Fsir Fsof Fsor


Frf Frr
M sf Mrf
Sprung Mass FBD
Sf
ΣM = mgh1 sin(φ) + (Fsif − Fsof ) cos(φ)
2
Sr
+ (Fsir − Fsor ) cos(φ) − (Msf + Msr )
2
= −may h1 cos(φ)

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What are typical roll angles?

 Some very loose guidelines

RollRate Application
1−5 Race Cars
3−4 Sports Cars
5 Sport Sedan
7 Pretty soft
8 Late 60’s early 70’s

 Even in the extreme, the roll angles are small in the


sense of linearization

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Assume Small Roll Angle

 Once again,
Sf
ΣM = mgh1 sin(φ) + (Fsif − Fsof ) cos(φ)
2
Sr
+ (Fsir − F sor) cos(φ) − (Msf + Msr )
2
= −may h1 cos(φ)

 Assume small roll angle,


Sf Sr
−may h1 = mgh1φ + (Fsif − Fsof ) + (Fsir − Fsor ) − (Msf + Msr )
2 2

 The inside and outside forces may be written in terms


of the roll angle
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Spring forces

∆x

Sf

Fsof = Fsf s + Ksf ∆x

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Spring forces

 For the front and rear


Fsof = Fsf s + Ksf ∆x
1
= Fsf s + Ksf Sf φ
2
1
Fsif = Fsf s − Ksf Sf φ
2
⇒  
1  1 1
Fsof − Fsif Sf = 2 Ksf Sf φ Sf
2 2 2
1
= Ksf Sf2 φ
2
1 1
(Fsor − Fsir ) Sf = Ksr Sf2 φ
2 2

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Stabilizer Bar Forces

 Stabilizer bars may be modeled as torsional springs


• Remember that the vehicle body is rigid. The roll angle, φ, is
the same front and rear

Msf = Kstabf φ
Msr = Kstabr φ

 You will visit this assumption again in a future lab (it is


a good one)

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Roll Moment Equation

 From before,
Sf Sr
−may h1 = mgh1φ + (Fsif − Fsof ) + (Fsir − Fsor ) − (Msf + Msr )
2 2

 Now,
   
1 1
−may h1 = mgφ − Kstabf + Ksf Sf φ − Kstabr + Ksr Sr2 φ
2
2 2


may h1 = Kφf + Kφr − mgh1 φ

= Kφ − mgh1 φ

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Solving for Roll Angle

 The roll angle depends upon stiffnesses, mass and lateral


acceleration

may h1 = Kφ − mgh1 φ

mh1
φ = ay
Kφ − mgh1

 In other notation
!
wh1 V2
φ =
Kφ − wh1 Rg

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Weight Transfer
Sf

Fsif Fsof

Frf } hf
Fyif Msf Fyof
Fzif Fzof

tf
Front Axle FBD

 Now that we have the roll angle, we can figure out the
weight transfer terms on the axle diagrams

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Weight Transfer II

 Sum the moments about the front roll center


Sf Sf tf tf
ΣM = Msf + Fsof − Fsif + Fzif − Fxof + hf Fyif + hf Fyo
2 2 2 2

wf
 
1 
Kφf φ − tf Fzof − Fzif + hf ay = 0
2 g

 wf
Kφf φ − tf ∆Fzf + hf ay = 0
g

w
 
1 f
∆Fzf = Kφf φ + hf ay , and similarly for the rear
tf g
 
1 wr
∆Fzr = Kφr φ + hr ay
tr g

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Weight Transfer III

 Now plug in our expression for φ to savor the meaning


of all of this math.
w
 
1 f
∆Fzf = Kφf φ + hf ay
tf g
!
1 h1
= Kφf + hf may
tf Kφf + Kφr − mgh1

 Remember the expression for roll angle is


mh1
φ = ay
Kφf + Kφr − mgh1

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What happens when when Kφ increases?

 If Kφ increases, then for the same lateral acceleration


the roll angle will be smaller.
 If the roll angle decreases, then ∆Fzf decreases, ie, the
weight transfer is less.
 Race cars are often tuned to minimize load transfer (load
transfer affects peak side force, more on that later.)

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What happens when when Kφf increases?

 Is ∆Fzf with Kφf scaled by (a > 1) > ∆Fzf


!
1 h1
aKφf + hf may (>?)
tf aKφf + Kφr − mgh1
!
1 h1
Kφf + hf may
tf Kφf + Kφr − mgh1

a 1
(>?)
aKφf + Kφr − mgh1 Kφf + Kφr − mgh1

a(Kφr − mgh1)(>?)(Kφr − mgh1)

 ∆Fzf increases, and ∆Fzr decreases

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The major points

 Increasing the roll stiffness on both the front and rear


axles decreases weight transfer
 Increasing roll stiffness on only one axle increases the
load transfer on that axle and decreases it on the other

 This load transfer stuff really is critical for designing cars


which behave well at the limits

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Tires
Latera Force Vs Slip Angle
8000

6000
Force [N]

4000

2000

0
0 10 20 30 40 50
Slip Angle [%]

• As you know, tires are nonlinear near the peak of the curve
• Since this curve is concave down, load transfer reduces your peak
side forces
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General Design Rules

 Increasing the front roll stiffness will tend to make the


vehicle more understeering
• At the limits it is generally considered safer to understeer
rather than oversteer

 Increasing the rear roll stiffness will tend to make the


vehicle more oversteering
• This is ok as long as overall the vehicle is still understeering

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This is just the beginning

 Depending on how the suspension is designed, vehicle


roll will often steer the vehicle
 Roll also effects camber which also affects the force-slip
curves
 The force-slip curves also depend upon normal load di-
rectly...

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Summary

 Simple models show how vehicle roll directly effects limit


handling performance
• Adding roll stiffness to the front tends to makes the vehicle
more understeering
• Adding roll stiffness to the rear tends to make the vehicle more
oversteering
• Increasing roll stiffness in general tends to increase peak at-
tainable side forces

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El fin

Questions ?

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Minute Sheet

 Please take a minute to fill out my Minute Sheet

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