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# The Influence of Roll and Weight

## Transfer on Vehicle Handling

Christopher R. Carlson

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

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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.
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

##  ∆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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