The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has combined its tyre testing and stress-in-motion system (SIMS) technologies, CSIR smart mobility senior engineer Robert Berman told delegates attending the Southern African Transport Conference.
The CSIR tyre testers were developed in the 1990s and upgraded with adjustable hubs by the University of Pretoria through Armscor funding. Now, the medium tyre tester is combined with SIMS to further study the road/vehicle interaction with the focus the tyres.
“Valuable lessons were learned [during the recommissioning and testing] and the integration of all the disparate systems. This prepares the way for future tyre parameterisation research, especially for heavy-duty vehicle/truck tyres,” Berman told delegates.
Following the recommissioning of the medium tyre tester and SIMS study, Berman said the CSIR would be looking to upscale the study to “heavy vehicle tyres using the CSIR large tyre tester”.
During his presentation, Berman explained that all of a vehicle’s cornering and acceleration forces were transmitted through its tyres to the road, making tyre testing and parameterisation “fundamental to vehicle dynamics research”.
The study focussed on the lateral tyre stiffness and contact patch stress distribution through the use of the SIMS, with the aim of combining simultaneous measurements from tyre and road stresses to provide new levels of tyre parameterisation data research, particularly for heavy-duty vehicle tyres, Berman noted.
He stated what while the study’s results were not expected to influence overall tyre development, the CSIR expected the findings to have an impact on future research and studies, which would ultimately provide a “better understanding of the components” used in vehicle manufacturing, as well as inform better road design.
Berman was hopeful that this would, in turn, pave the way for the manufacturing of better, more environment-friendly and safer vehicles in Southern Africa.
On the infrastructure side of things, Berman saw the study as “a valuable piece of the puzzle” in improving the understanding of how roads and vehicles work together, and the impacts that these have on one another. This would impact the longevity of South Africa’s road infrastructure, as well as increase vehicle safety on Southern African roads.