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Research Papers

Terrain-Adaptive Auxiliary Track Tensioning System for Tracked Vehicles

[+] Author and Article Information
Jaroslav Matej

Department of Forest and Mobile Technology,
Technical University in Zvolen,
T.G. Masaryka 24,
Zvolen 960 53, Slovakia
e-mail: jaroslav.matej@tuzvo.sk

IMPACT-function: The function available in the MSC.ADAMS function library. The contact force is essentially modeled as a nonlinear spring damper.

Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics. Manuscript received March 7, 2012; final manuscript received January 16, 2013; published online March 21, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Dan Negrut.

J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam 8(3), 031013 (Mar 21, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: CND-12-1047; doi: 10.1115/1.4023512 History: Received March 07, 2012; Revised January 16, 2013

It is known that tension in the track of a tracked vehicle has a large effect on its driving properties. Simple track tensioning solutions, like track adjusting link assembly, use a one-road wheel motion to govern the motion of a track tensioning element. Thus the track tensioning force is a function of a terrain micro-profile. A logical improvement of this approach is to use all of the road wheels to govern the motion of the track tensioning element. This can be achieved by an auxiliary track tensioning system. This paper analyzes the conceptual track tensioning system governed by a terrain micro-profile. The motion of the track tensioning element is designed as a function of all of the road wheels' motions. A genetic algorithm method, implemented in Java language, is used to find the optimal parameters of the tensioning system and the results are verified via multibody dynamics simulation using the MSC.ADAMS/View system. The paper answers the question of whether the use of all of the road wheels' motions to govern the motion of the track tensioning element can be useful or not. The results indicate that the use of the auxiliary system can decrease the variance of the track tensioning force, in comparison with the track tensioning system without auxiliary tensioning. This means that the value of the track tensioning force is closer to its desired, predefined, and constant value during the whole simulation. The tracked vehicle model that is used is a simplified one and it is intended as a base for specific designs of track tensioning systems with auxiliary tensioning. The results suggest that the system can be used to improve the driving properties of tracked vehicles or robots.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Example of track adjusting link assembly: (a) before contact with the obstacle, and (b) during contact with the obstacle [5]

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Fig. 2

Modified solution of the track tensioning device using the track adjusting link assembly: (1) track support rollers, (2) road wheel, (3) front road wheel, and (4) auxiliary tensioning element: hydraulic cylinder

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Fig. 3

Scheme of a tracked vehicle model comprising the spring (10), piston (2), and backstop (9) as a track tensioning and measuring device and the “−xc” value of the displacement and adjustable piston (2) as a replacement for the track adjusting link or another track tensioning device: (1) idler, (2) piston, (3) sprocket, (4)–(7) road wheels, (8) spring-damper section of the road wheel, (9) backstop, (10) spring, y1−4 road wheels displacements

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Fig. 4

Randomly generated terrain samples using the sine function

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Fig. 5

The flow of the GA for optimization

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Fig. 6

Results of the optimization for various sine random terrains. Three runs and average values of optimizations are displayed for each terrain.

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Fig. 7

Tracked vehicle model in the MSC.ADAMS/View system: (a) one bump terrain, and (b) more undulating terrain for the same model

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Fig. 8

Comparison of forces in the measuring and tensioning spring for the vehicle model (see Fig. 7(a)) with the auxiliary tensioning system and without it for a spring stiffness of 6 N/mm and a spring pretension of 3000 N. Without auxiliary tensioning, the track tensioning force is maintained by the spring only. With auxiliary tensioning, it is using all of the road wheels' motions (Eq. (1)). The solid curve in the plot is closer to the required value of pretension of the track in comparison with the dashed curve, thus, the solid curve produces a lower modified variance (Eq. (2)) in comparison with the dashed curve.

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Fig. 9

Comparison of forces in the measuring and tensioning spring for the vehicle model (see Fig. 7(a)) with auxiliary tensioning and without it for a spring stiffness of 3 N/mm and a spring pretension of 3000 N. Without auxiliary tensioning, the track tensioning force is maintained by the spring only. With auxiliary tensioning, it is using all of the road wheels' motions. The solid curve produces a lower modified variance (Eq. (2)) in comparison with the dashed curve.

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Fig. 10

Comparison of forces in the measuring and tensioning spring for the vehicle model (see Fig. 7(b)) with auxiliary tensioning and without it for a spring stiffness of 3 N/mm and a spring pretension of 12,000 N. Without auxiliary tensioning, the track tensioning force is maintained by the spring only. With auxiliary tensioning, it is using all of the road wheels' motions.

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Fig. 11

Comparison of forces in the measuring and tensioning spring (position 10, Fig. 3) with auxiliary hydraulic tensioning and without it, for a spring stiffness of 3 N/mm and a spring pretension of 3000 N. Concept no. 1: if four road wheels are considered in Eq. (1). Concept no. 2: if one (front) road wheel is considered in Eq. (1). The dotted curve in the plot is closer to the required value of pretension of the track in comparison with the dashed and solid curves, thus, the dotted curve produces a lower modified variance in comparison with the dashed and solid curves and the solid curve produces a lower modified variance in comparison with the dashed curve.

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