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Experimental investigation of pneumatic tire performance on ice: Part 1 – Indoor study

Anudeep K. Bhoopalam, Corina Sandu, Saied Taheri
Journal of Terramechanics, Available online 18 March 2015, ISSN 0022-4898,
Currently, the probability of accident occurrence is much higher when driving on icy roads than on asphalt. Since the tire is the only element of the vehicle that contacts the icy road, it is crucial to thoroughly comprehend the friction mechanism at the tire–ice interface for improved tires and safety systems for icy roads. This study investigates the available friction levels at the tire–ice interface by varying operational parameters through the indoor testing program conducted at the Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, Virginia Tech (in part I) and the outdoor testing program conducted at the Keweenaw Research Center (in part II). This two-part article presents the design of experiment, the indoor and outdoor test programs, and friction–slip ratio curves obtained from both test programs for different conditions. The effects of operational parameters and their inter-dependency for the entire slip ratio range during operation on ice is explained, as studied from the two test programs. This article (part I) details the indoor test method consisting of the ice creation procedure, pre-test procedures, the test procedure and analysis of the obtained friction–slip ratio curves. This experimental investigation performs the necessary groundwork and builds a strong foundation towards making driving on ice safe.
Keywords: Tire–ice friction; Indoor tire–ice testing; Outdoor tire–ice testing