This project has been sponsored by QinetiQ Limited (QinetiQ); whose aim it is to model the dynamics of a prototype high-speed military tracked vehicle. Specifically their objective is to describe the mechanism by which force inputs are transmitted from the ground to the vehicle’s hull. Many track running gear components are steel and can be modelled as simple lumped masses or as linear springs without internal damping. These present no difficulty to the modeller. However tracked vehicle running gear also has nonlinear components that require more detailed descriptions. Models for two rubber components, the road wheel tyre and track link bush, and a model for the suspensions rotary damper, are developed here. These three components all have highly nonlinear dynamic responses. Rubber component nonlinearities are caused by the materials nonlinear elastic and viscoelastic characteristics. Stiffness is amplitude dependent and the material exhibits a significant amount of internal damping, which is predominantly Coulombic in nature but also relaxes overtime. In this work, a novel method for measuring the elastic and viscoelastic response of Carbon Black Filled Natural Rubber components has been devised and a ‘general purpose’ mathematical model developed that describes the materials response and is suited to use in multibody dynamic analysis software. The vehicle’s suspension rotary damper model describes three viscous flow regimes (laminar, turbulent and pressure relief), as a continuous curved response that relates angular velocity to damping torque. Hysteresis due to the compression of entrapped gas, compliance of the dampers structure and compression of damper oil is described by a single non-parametric equation. Friction is considered negligible and is omitted from the model. All components are modelled using MSC.ADAMS TM multibody dynamic analysis software. The models are shown to be easily implemented and computationally robust. QinetiQ’s requirement for ‘practical’ track running gear component models has been met
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