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Non-Pneumatic Tire for On-Highway and Off-Road Mobility



OBJECTIVE: To research and develop a prototype Non-pneumatic tire in a 16.00R20 size for both paved on-highway performance and off-road mobility capable of increasing survivability unconstrained by explosives/hazards in a military mission environment. 

DESCRIPTION: There is a critical need for a non-pneumatic tire that can sustain hazards including explosive, ballistic, and road debris and yet continue the vehicle mission. This project investigates technologies which would provide a non-pneumatic tire in these types of environments while providing optimum tire performance on the highway and in an off-road environment. Currently, non-pneumatic tires in the larger truck or off-road equipment are used in slower speed off-road applications. The focus of this project is the development of new technologies that can perform on the paved highway at sustained high speed and also provide improved tractive effort when the vehicle is operated in an off-road environment. These attributes of on-highway performance and off-road mobility require a new solution optimized for both conditions. Currently, a pneumatic tire in an off-road environment would typically be lowered through the vehicle’s Central Tire Inflation System or other means to provide increased tractive effort. The goal of this technology would be to provide the advantage (resistance to becoming flat) of a non-pneumatic tire while providing good tractive effort off road, and at less weight & same cost as a comparable pneumatic tire with a runflat. This technology could be integrated for any vehicle system that operates in both on-highway and off-road conditions including military vehicles, commercial dump trucks and construction equipment. 

PHASE I: Develop a computer based model of a non-pneumatic tire in the 16.00R20 size for On-Highway and Off-Road Mobility providing detailed design and materials used. The design would meet the dimensions and load capacity for 16.00R20 Load Range M size as define by the Tire & Rim Association Standards. Modeling and simulation of this concept non-pneumatic tire shall be conducted at different loading conditions (50%,75%, 100% of the 14800 Lb Load) and with simulated hazards at various degrees of damage (up to 20% material loss) to determine performance. Load deflection and footprint area will be modeled at the above loading conditions. Simulation of the non-pneumatic tire and pneumatic tire at these conditions would be conducted. The model and simulation with a final technical report would be the resultant deliverables to this phase. 

PHASE II: Using the model and simulation developed in phase 1, a physical prototype non-pneumatic tire in the 16.00R20 size would be developed and validated in the laboratory, and demonstrated in a field environment. The concept tire would be evaluated against a 16.00R20 pneumatic tire under the same loading conditions (50%, 75%, 100% of the 14800lb) in accordance with SAE J2014 Load Deflection 4.4.12 including pressure pad measurements. The concept tire would be tested in accordance with FMVSS 571.119 at the prescribed loads for the 16.00R20 size for durability evaluation. The concept tire would also be tested in accordance with FMVSS 571.129 with the lateral force test modified to accommodate for the larger tire size. The non-pneumatic tire technology would be subjected to simulated hazards (including up to 20% material loss) and tested in accordance with FMVSS 571.129 S5.4 Tire Endurance. The non-pneumatic tire would be mounted on a vehicle and demonstrated subjectively for subjective ride and handling for a duration of 200 miles. Deliverables for this phase would be the 16 prototype tires, load deflection, pressure pad, FMVSS 571.119, FMVSS 571.129 and degraded endurance test results, and demonstration on military vehicle 

PHASE III: Prototype non-pneumatic tires developed in Phase II would be evaluated and integrated on a military or commercial vehicle platform. Testing on a military or commercial vehicle in accordance with SAE J2014 shall include 4.4.8 Treadlife Durability (mission profile) ,4.4.9 Comparative Stopping Distance(Braking) , 4.4.2 Tire Traction (soft soil, sand, mud), 4.4.3 Vehicle Evasive Manuever, 4.4.20 Steady State Dynamic Stability, and 4.4.17 Absorbed Power Ride Quality with comparison against a baseline pneumatic tire under same loading conditions. Degraded durability test with 20% material loss of the non-pneumatic tire shall be conducted on vehicle for 1000 miles. This integration may require design optimization for the particular vehicle system. This technology would be transitioned to a tactical, combat or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected military vehicle and/or on-highway / off-road commercial vehicle (dump truck, construction equipment). Deliverables for this phase would be 36 prototype tires, manufacturability plan, integration plan and on-vehicle testing results. 


1: Ma, Ru

2:  Reid, Alexander

3:  Ferris, John, Capturing Planar Tire Properties Using Static Constraint Modes, March 2012

4:  Sandu, Corina

5:  Pinto, Eduardo

6:  Naranjo, Scott

7:  Jayakumar, Paramsothy

8:  Andonian, Archie

9:  Hubbell, Dave

10:  Ross, Brant, Off-Road Soft Soil Tire Model Development and Experimental Testing, 17th International Conference of the International Society for Terrain-Vehicle Systems – September 18-22, 2011, Blacksburg, Virginia

11:  Madsen, Justin

12:  Seidl, Andrew

13:  Negrut, Dan

14:  O’Kins, James

15:  Reid, Alexander, A Physics-Based Terrain Model for Off-Road Vehicle Simulations, April 2012

16:  Shoop, Sally A., Finite Element Modeling of Tire-Terrain Interaction, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, November 2001

KEYWORDS: Tire, Non-pneumatic, Survivable, Runflat, Mobility, Hazard 


Steven Bishel 

(586) 282-6326 

Richard Vinkovich 

(586) 282-2473 

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