Heavy vehicle suspensions : testing and analysis

Davis, Lloyd Eric (2010) Heavy vehicle suspensions : testing and analysis. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Transport regulators consider that, with respect to pavement damage, heavy vehicles (HVs) are the riskiest vehicles on the road network. That HV suspension design contributes to road and bridge damage has been recognised for some decades. This thesis deals with some aspects of HV suspension characteristics, particularly (but not exclusively) air suspensions. This is in the areas of developing low-cost in-service heavy vehicle (HV) suspension testing, the effects of larger-than-industry-standard longitudinal air lines and the characteristics of on-board mass (OBM) systems for HVs. All these areas, whilst seemingly disparate, seek to inform the management of HVs, reduce of their impact on the network asset and/or provide a measurement mechanism for worn HV suspensions. A number of project management groups at the State and National level in Australia have been, and will be, presented with the results of the project that resulted in this thesis. This should serve to inform their activities applicable to this research. A number of HVs were tested for various characteristics. These tests were used to form a number of conclusions about HV suspension behaviours. Wheel forces from road test data were analysed. A “novel roughness” measure was developed and applied to the road test data to determine dynamic load sharing, amongst other research outcomes. Further, it was proposed that this approach could inform future development of pavement models incorporating roughness and peak wheel forces. Left/right variations in wheel forces and wheel force variations for different speeds were also presented. This led on to some conclusions regarding suspension and wheel force frequencies, their transmission to the pavement and repetitive wheel loads in the spatial domain. An improved method of determining dynamic load sharing was developed and presented. It used the correlation coefficient between two elements of a HV to determine dynamic load sharing. This was validated against a mature dynamic loadsharing metric, the dynamic load sharing coefficient (de Pont, 1997). This was the first time that the technique of measuring correlation between elements on a HV has been used for a test case vs. a control case for two different sized air lines. That dynamic load sharing was improved at the air springs was shown for the test case of the large longitudinal air lines. The statistically significant improvement in dynamic load sharing at the air springs from larger longitudinal air lines varied from approximately 30 percent to 80 percent. Dynamic load sharing at the wheels was improved only for low air line flow events for the test case of larger longitudinal air lines. Statistically significant improvements to some suspension metrics across the range of test speeds and “novel roughness” values were evident from the use of larger longitudinal air lines, but these were not uniform. Of note were improvements to suspension metrics involving peak dynamic forces ranging from below the error margin to approximately 24 percent. Abstract models of HV suspensions were developed from the results of some of the tests. Those models were used to propose further development of, and future directions of research into, further gains in HV dynamic load sharing. This was from alterations to currently available damping characteristics combined with implementation of large longitudinal air lines. In-service testing of HV suspensions was found to be possible within a documented range from below the error margin to an error of approximately 16 percent. These results were in comparison with either the manufacturer’s certified data or test results replicating the Australian standard for “road-friendly” HV suspensions, Vehicle Standards Bulletin 11. OBM accuracy testing and development of tamper evidence from OBM data were detailed for over 2000 individual data points across twelve test and control OBM systems from eight suppliers installed on eleven HVs. The results indicated that 95 percent of contemporary OBM systems available in Australia are accurate to +/- 500 kg. The total variation in OBM linearity, after three outliers in the data were removed, was 0.5 percent. A tamper indicator and other OBM metrics that could be used by jurisdictions to determine tamper events were developed and documented. That OBM systems could be used as one vector for in-service testing of HV suspensions was one of a number of synergies between the seemingly disparate streams of this project.

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ID Code: 34499
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Bunker, Jonathan & Ferreira, Luis
Additional Information: Errata may be found via the following QUT ePrints link: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/46909/
Keywords: heavy vehicle, truck, lorry, suspension test, Vehicle Standards Bulletin 11 (VSB 11), suspension health, suspension model, dynamic force, wheel force, pavement force, tyre force, spatial repeatability, spatial repetition, road roughness, pavement roughnes, surface roughness, suspension metrics, on-board mass, heavy vehicle telematics, tamper evidence, tamper metrics, load sharing, dynamic load sharing, heavy vehicle suspension frequency, heavy vehicle suspension wavelength, heavy vehicle suspension model
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 15 Sep 2010 05:47
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2011 03:40

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