Under the skin: how to make a better tire with simulators Car News

Advanced driving simulators have become an intrinsic part of car production and engineers can now perform much of the chassis development with driver-in-the-loop (DIL) simulation.

The tools they use are, however, well above the average clearance setup, right down to the level of testing different suspension settings, types of bushes, etc. even before a physical prototype is built. Besides the obvious benefit of speed and cost reduction for the manufacturer, there is also an environmental benefit in cutting thousands of test kilometers in industry, reducing energy and emissions created during manufacturing and finally completely eliminating the prototypes.

Today, tire manufacturers are following a similar path. Falken started using a Fugaku supercomputer to improve on what he calls performance-sustaining technology to prevent a drop in performance as the tire ages and wears out. Computer simulation allows chemists and engineers to assess what is happening to the tire at a chemical and molecular level and to monitor these changes to keep performance like new for longer.

One hundred times faster than its predecessor, the latest Fugaku is incredibly fast to calculate and capable of calculating 442 quadrillion (442 billion million) per second. Compared to the single processor of an average desktop or laptop computer, the Fugaku, named after Mount Fuji, has 158,976 processors. It is already used to predict tornadoes, simulate tsunamis and earthquakes, and assess the effect of masks on preventing the spread of Covid-19. In the automotive industry, it is used to develop fuel cells and batteries and to reduce the amount of rare earths needed in permanent magnet EV motors.

Like the teams that design the car’s mechanical and electronic systems, Continental will soon begin using a Norfolk-based Delta S3 DIL simulator from Ansible Motion. The S3 is every gamer’s dream, with a full-size cabin delivering a completely immersive driving experience so vivid that, according to Continental, even the seasoned pros who use it feel like they’re driving the real thing. The S3 runs on rails and can travel five meters in one direction and four meters in another. It can accelerate and change direction very quickly, realistically subjecting the driver to the effects of the all-important lane-change maneuver, tight turns, long turns, different surfaces and a wide range of weather conditions.

The simulator can be configured with the type of car being tested and data on the compound, tread design and construction of the tire under test. The simulator will enter service in 2022 at the Contidrom near Hanover in Germany.

Continental is also studying the use of sustainable materials in its tires and expects the simulator to help it make decisions about what works and what doesn’t work much faster in a virtual environment. Neither the Fugaku nor the Delta S3 are an example of builders relying too much on digital technology, as either way their use relies just as much on the skill and experience of the humans who use them.

Continental’s goal is to reduce the number of test tires built and worn by 10,000 per year.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-27 23:01:22

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