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Yong Yang

a,

*

, Weiqun Ren

a

, Liping Chen

a

, Ming Jiang

b

, Yuliang Yang

b

a

School of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology,

Wuhan 430074, Peoples Republic of China

b

DongFeng Automobile Engineering Research Institute, Shiyan 442001, Peoples Republic of China

Received 18 November 2006; received in revised form 1 October 2007; accepted 10 October 2007

Available online 22 October 2007

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to report a systematic methodology which is used to evaluate and improve the ride comfort. An

accurate model is necessary for further investigation and optimization. The vehicle dynamics model of tractor with tandem

suspension is modeled and simulated in dynamics software ADAMS, which is redeveloped to add a function of automatic

parametric modeling and simulation. The modeling methods of nonlinear characteristic components and various road exci-

tation inputs, which can be simply seen as the implementation means for the model solution, are introduced. A new index

called annoyance rate is presented to indicate the quantitative correlation between objective method and subjective com-

ment. The quantitative correlation between them, which is quite dierent from the qualitative comfortable or uncom-

fortable results attained by objective evaluation, can be dened by function and regarded as a basis to scientically

evaluate and improve the ride comfort. According to the request of performance-based design, the parameter sensitive

analysis and structure optimization have been carried out to nd the trade-o among ride comfort, maneuverability

and safety. The approach has proved to be very eective for predicting and improving the ride comfort by experiment

results. The methodology can be also used for any other specic category of vehicle.

2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Multi-body system dynamics; Ride comfort; Power spectral density; Annoyance rate

1. Introduction

Ride comfort is one of the most critical factors to evaluate the automobile performance and has been an

interesting topic for researchers for many years. Two methods, i.e. computer simulation and road experiment,

are used to investigate ride comfort. Clearly, the experiment method is the most precise approach because it

oers many valuable and realistic results. However, it is usually very costly and is limited by safety require-

ments. Moreover, the results from the experiment are based on specied test vehicle, specied vehicle velocity

and specied road conditions. Therefore the results do not suit in some degree for other test conditions.

0307-904X/$ - see front matter 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.apm.2007.10.011

*

Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 027 87543973.

E-mail address: yangyong@public.wh.hb.cn (Y. Yang).

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

www.elsevier.com/locate/apm

Computer simulation method [13] is based on the mathematical model of the vehicle vibration and power

spectral density (PSD) of road surface. Simulation programs can be developed to extrapolate the experiment

results over the range of test conditions where experiment would be costly or inconvenient. Obviously,

whether the simulation result is correct or not must be validated by experimental methods.

Many papers about objective method and subjective comment for ride comfort have been published. In

most of them, only theoretical analysis is done with factors aecting the ride comfort most, and some certain

Nomenclature

M

ch

seat mass (kg) = 80

M

dr

driving-room mass (kg) = 680

M

1f

front axle mass (kg) = 670

M

1m

middle axle mass(kg) = 1595

M

1r

rear axle mass (kg) = 1595

M

2

body mass (kg) = 3200

M

3

equalizing suspension mass (kg) = 236

K

ch

seat stiness (N/mm) = 7.3

K

dr

driving-room stiness (N/mm) = 48.7

K

f

front suspension stiness (N/mm) = 395.72

K

tf

front tire stiness (N/mm) = 1880

K

m

middle suspension stiness (N/mm) = 2791.5

K

tm

middle tire stiness (N/mm) = 3760

K

r

rear suspension stiness (N/mm) = 2791.5

K

tr

rear tire stiness (N/mm) = 3760

C

ch

seat damper (N s/mm) = 2.0

C

dr

driving-room damper (N s/mm) = 5.0

C

f

front suspension damper (N s/mm)

C

m

middle suspension damper (N s/mm)

C

r

rear suspension damper (N s/mm)

M

2

q

2

y

body inertia moment (kg mm

2

) = 6.12e+09

M

3

q

2

3y

equalizing suspension inertia moment (kg mm

2

) = 3.34e+08

a distance between fore axle and body mass center (m) = 2.45

b distance between tail and body mass center (m) = 1.455

c equalizing suspension length (m) = 1.3

d equalizing suspension osetting (m) = 0.05

e distance between driving-room rear support and body mass center (m) = 1.15

L distance between fore axle and the center of equalizing suspension (m) = 3.95

u velocity of traveling speed (km/h)

q

f

road input at front tire

q

m

road input at middle tire

q

r

road input at rear tire

u pitch angle of chassis

h pitch angle of equalizing suspension

z

ch

vertical absolute displacement of seat

z

dr

vertical absolute displacement of driving room

z

1f

vertical absolute displacement of front axle

z

1m

vertical absolute displacement of middle axle

z

1r

vertical absolute displacement of rear axle

z

c

vertical absolute displacement of body mass center

z

3

vertical absolute displacement of equalizing suspension

12 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

levels of acceleration or PSD may be treated as an index to evaluate the ride comfort. The qualitatively com-

fortable or uncomfortable results were of little help to improve the ride comfort.

This paper addresses to provide a method to correlate objective method for determining ride comfort and

subjective comments from crew driving in the vehicle. The quantitative correlation between them can be used

as a basis to scientically evaluate and improve the ride comfort. It also proposes an approach to evaluate and

improve the ride comfort.

Its novelty can be summarized as follows. Firstly, an accurate model is necessary for further investigation

and optimization. The modeling methods of nonlinear characteristic components and various road excitation

inputs are introduced. Simulation experiments of dierent conditions according to the international standard

ISO2631 have been designed. Secondly, a new index, called annoyance rate together with ISO2631 used for

objective measurement, is proposed to indicate the quantitative correlation described by function between

objective method and subjective comments. The quantitative correlation dened by function can be regarded

as a basis to scientically evaluate and improve the ride comfort. Finally, the sensitive parameter optimization

has been carried out to nd the trade-o among ride comfort, maneuverability and safety, to meet the request

of performance-based design.

2. Three-axis tractor multi-body dynamics analysis system

2.1. Simulation procedure

A generic simulation procedure is shown in Fig. 1. The parameters from the Pro/E model of the tractor are

inputted into the simulation system to complete the subsystem modeling procedure, and then the same con-

straints are given as the real prototype till to establish the whole vehicle model [4,5]. The model consists of the

front and rear suspensions, steering system, powertrain, tires and vehicle body including the chassis, cab, seat

and the driver. Each component and subsystem can be analyzed for validation alone.

Then the power spectral density of the road surface is transformed by self-developed Matlab program to

take out the road conditions. After that, the model is simulated under various speeds (typically 40 km/h,

50 km/h, 60 km/h, 70 km/h), as well as dierent road conditions (usually class A, class B, class C, and single

pulse). After simulation, the x, y, and z direction accelerations and the power spectral densities at the driving-

room seat can be obtained to calculate the weighted RMS (root mean square) in three directions (x, y and z

direction) and the total RMS [6,7]. As far as ride comfort is concerned, the dynamic characteristic of driving-

room seat [8] should be mainly focused on. The accuracy and reliability of simulation method can be validated

by experimental data.

2.2. Mathematical model of vehicle and dynamics equations

The structure sketch map of three-axle tractor model is shown in Fig. 2. Dynamic motion equations of the

whole vehicle system are given by following dierential Eqs. (1)(8).

M

ch

z

ch

K

ch

z

ch

z

c

e u C

ch

_ z

ch

_ z

c

e _ u 0; 1

M

dr

z

dr

K

dr

z

c

e u C

dr

_ z

c

e _ u 0; 2

M

2

z

c

K

f

z

c

a u z

1f

C

f

_ z

c

a _ u _ z

1f

F 0; 3

M

2

q

2

y

u K

f

z

c

a u z

1f

a C

f

_ z

c

a _ u _ z

1f

a F b 0; 4

M

1f

z

1f

K

f

z

1f

z

c

a u C

f

_ z

1f

_ z

c

a _ u K

tf

z

1f

q

f

0; 5

M

3

q

2

3y

h K

m

z

3

c h z

1m

c c

m

_ z

3

c

_

h _ z

1m

c K

r

z

3

c h z

1r

c

c

r

_ z

3

c

_

h _ z

1r

c 0; 6

M

1m

z

1m

K

m

z

1m

z

3

c h c

m

_ z

1m

_ z

3

c

_

h K

tm

z

1m

q

m

0; 7

M

1r

z

1r

K

r

z

1r

z

3

c h c

r

_ z

1r

_ z

3

c

_

h K

tr

z

1r

q

r

0; 8

Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133 13

2.3. Modeling method of nonlinear dynamic characteristics of component

There are a lot of components such as leaf-spring, absorber and rubber sleeve in the tractor, whose dynamic

characteristics appear nonlinear. The reliability of vehicle model depends on the accuracy of these component

models. Here some modeling methods for these components, which can be simply seen as the implementation

means for the model solution, are presented as follows.

2.3.1. Leaf-spring

Leaf-spring [9] is the common elastic element of suspension system. It bears the impact from tire to abate

the vibration and keeps the stability of vehicle and adaptability to dierent road conditions. During the bear-

ing, extension activities of leaf-spring produce erce frictions among the springs to dissipate external energy.

In order to better reect the damping characteristic of leaf-spring, assumptions are made as follows:

(1) Because each piece of leaf-springs is a continuous exible body, discrete method can be used here to

divide each spring into a number of quality modules, each of which can be regarded as a rigid quality and

linked together with Timoshenko beam (see Fig. 3). Link locations should reect the actual shape and curva-

ture of leaf-spring. The following equations denes a force and a torque applied to the I marker on the action

body of a beam. I marker and J marker are located in the center of the two adjacent leafs respectively (see

Fig. 3). The force and torque depend on the displacement and velocity of the I marker relative to the J marker

on the reaction body

F

x

F

y

F

z

T

x

T

y

T

z

_

_

_

_

K

11

0 0 0 0 0

0 K

22

0 0 0 K

26

0 0 K

33

0 K

35

0

0 0 0 K

44

0 0

0 0 K

53

0 K

55

0

0 K

62

0 0 0 K

66

_

_

_

_

x L

y

z

a

b

c

_

_

_

C

11

C

21

C

31

C

41

C

51

C

61

C

21

C

22

C

32

C

42

C

52

C

62

C

31

C

32

C

33

C

43

C

53

C

63

C

41

C

42

C

43

C

44

C

54

C

64

C

51

C

52

C

53

C

54

C

55

C

56

C

61

C

62

C

63

C

64

C

65

C

66

_

_

_

_

V

x

V

y

V

z

x

x

x

y

x

z

_

_

_

_

;

9

Fig. 2. Whole vehicle model.

Fig. 1. A generic computer simulation procedure.

14 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

where (F

x

, F

y

, F

z

)

T

are the translational force components in the coordinate system of the J marker, (x, y, z)

T

are the translational displacements of the I marker with respect to the J marker measured in the coordinate

system of the J marker,(V

x

, V

y

, V

z

)

T

are the time derivatives of x, y and z respectively, (T

x

, T

y

, T

z

)

T

are the tor-

ques in the coordinate system of the J marker, a, b, and c are the relative rotational displacements of the I

marker with respect to the J marker as expressed in the x-, y- and z-axes of the J marker, (x

x

, x

y

, x

z

)

T

are

the angular velocity of the I marker as seen by the J marker in the J marker coordinate system, and C

ij

are

the damping coecients. C

ij

and K

ij

in above matrixes are symmetric, that is, C

ij

= C

ji

and K

ij

= K

ji

. K

ij

can

be dened as follows:

K

11

12EI

ZZ

=L

3

1 P

Y

; 10

K

26

6EI

ZZ

=L

2

1 P

Y

; 11

K

33

12EI

YY

=L

3

1 P

Z

; 12

K

35

6EI

YY

=L

2

1 P

Z

; 13

K

44

GI

XX

=L; 14

K

55

4 P

Z

EI

YY

=L1 P

Z

; 15

K

66

4 P

Y

EI

ZZ

=L1 P

Y

; 16

P

Y

12EI

ZZ

ASY =GAL; 17

P

Z

12EI

YY

ASZ=GAL; 18

where E is the Youngs modulus of elasticity for the beam material, A is the uniform area of the beam cross

section, L is the undeformed length of the beam along the x-axis, ASY is correction factor (shear area ratio)

for shear deection in the y-direction for Timoshenko beams, ASZ is the shear area ratio for shear deection

in the z-direction for Timoshenko beams. The equilibrating force and torque applied at the J marker on the

reaction body can be dened by the following equations:

F

j

F

i

; 19

T

j

T

i

L

ij

F

i

; 20

L

ij

is the instantaneous displacement vector from the J marker to the I marker. While the force at the J marker

is equal and opposite to the force at the I marker, the torque is usually not equal and opposite, because of the

force transfer.

(2) Adjacent leafs are clamped under normal working conditions, and only tangential direction frictions

happen because of the relative movement along the tangential direction. Although the springs are used to

maintain surface contact due to the role of the central bolt and pre-stressed leaf, under certain conditions

Fig. 3. Linkage with Timoshenko beam.

Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133 15

clamped adjacent leafs may produce separateimpactcontact activities at the both ends of the spring (see

Fig. 4).

Besides the tangential frictions, impactcontact can be dened by self-developed function IMPACT. Math-

ematically, the force IMPACT is calculated as follows:

F

IMPACT

0 if q > q

0

;

MAXf0; Kq

0

q

e

C_ q stepq; q

0

d; 1; q

0

; 0g if q 6 q

0

;

_

21

where q is the displacement variable, _ q is the velocity variable, q

0

is the trigger for displacement variable, K is

the stiness coecient, C is the damping coecient, and d is the damping ramp-up distance.

Velocity-based friction model can be used to describe the friction caused by contacts. Fig. 5 shows how the

coecient of friction varies with slip velocity. The contact friction force can be calculated as following

equations:

lV

S

l

S

; 22

lV

S

l

S

; 23

l0 0; 24

Fig. 4. Friction and impact between leafs.

Fig. 5. Coecient of friction varying with slip velocity.

16 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

lV

d

l

d

; 25

lV

d

l

d

; 26

lV signV l

d

if jV j > V

d

; 27

lV stepjV j; V

d

; l

d

; V

S

; l

S

signV if V

S

6 jV j < V

d

; 28

lV stepV ; V

S

; l

S

; V

S

; l

S

if V

S

6 V < V

S

; 29

F

Static

l

S

F

IMPACT

; 30

F

Dynamic

l

d

F

IMPACT

; 31

where V is the slip velocity at contact point, V

S

is the stiction transition velocity, V

d

is the friction transition

velocity, l

S

is the static friction coecient, l

d

is the dynamic friction coecient, F

Static

is the static friction, and

F

Dynamic

is the dynamic friction.

(3) The centers of all leafs are clamped by central bolts, so certain length of the central leaf-spring can be

treated as invalid length. In the modeling process, the center of leaf-spring can be constrained as xed

together, and both ends of the leaf-spring are connected to supports by rubber sleeve.

Based on the above assumptions and equations, a parametric macro command of leaf-spring can be pro-

grammed with script command. The stiness of leaf-spring can be calculated through the loaddeformation

curve under the given load. The front suspension model and rear suspension leaf-spring model are shown

in Figs. 6 and 7, respectively.

2.3.2. Shock absorber

Shock absorber acts between two parts over a distance along a particular direction. The force of the shock

absorber is dependent upon the relative displacement and velocity of the two locations that dene the end-

points of the absorber. The following equation describes the action force:

F

Cdr=dt Kr L PRELOAD if r 6 L;

PRELOAD if r L;

_

32

where r is the distance between the two locations that dene the absorber measured along the line-of-sight

between them, dr/dt is the relative velocity of the locations along the line-of-sight between them, C is the

Fig. 6. Front suspension leaf-spring model.

Fig. 7. Rear suspension leaf-spring model.

Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133 17

viscous damping coecient, K is the spring stiness coecient, PRELOAD denes the reference force of the

spring, L denes the reference length.

The damping and stiness values can be specied as coecients or splines to dene the relationships of

damping to velocity or stiness to displacement. We can also set the stiness value to 0 to create a pure damper

or set the damping value to 0 to create a pure spring. Just given the test data of the damping characteristic

curve, the shock absorber can be modeled. The damping force characteristic curves of front and rear shock

absorber are given in Figs. 8 and 9, respectively. The abscissas unit is mm/s, and ordinate unit is Newton

in Figs. 8 and 9.

2.3.3. Sleeve

To improve vehicle handling stability and ride comfort, vehicle systems use a lot of rubber connectors, such

as the rubber sleeve mounted at the front driving-room, etc. Rubber sleeve which connects two rigid parts is

hard to be described due to the double nonlinear deformations of geometry and physics and the uncertain

boundary conditions. In this paper, bushing, represented by three components of the force and torque, is used

to dene the rubber sleeve (see Fig. 10). Eq. (33) presents the relationships of the forces (torques), relative dis-

placements (angles) and the relative velocities (angle velocities). Bushings between driving room and chassis

can be seen as in Fig. 11.

F

x

F

y

F

z

T

x

T

y

T

z

_

_

_

_

K

11

x

K

22

y

K

33

z

K

44

a

K

55

b

K

66

c

_

_

_

C

11

V

x

C

22

V

y

C

33

V

z

C

44

W

x

C

55

W

y

C

66

W

z

_

_

_

F

1

F

2

F

3

T

1

T

2

T

3

_

_

_

_

; 33

where (F

x

, F

y

, F

z

, T

x

, T

y

, T

z

)

T

are the component forces and torques in x, y and z directions, (K

11

, K

22

,

K

33

, K

44

, K

55

, K

66

)

T

are the stiness and torsional stiness coecients in x, y and z directions, (x, y, z)

T

are

Fig. 8. Front suspension shock absorber damping force characteristic curve.

18 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

the relative displacement of two coordinates,(a, b, c)

T

are the relative angle of two coordinates,

(C

11

, C

22

, C

33

, C

44

, C

55

, C

66

)

T

are the damping coecients, (V

x

, V

y

, V

z

)

T

are the relative velocity of two coordi-

nates and (W

x

, W

y

, W

z

)

T

are the relative angle velocity of two coordinates, and (F

1

, F

2

, F

3

, T

1

, T

2

, T

3

)

T

are the

initial forces and torques of rubber sleeve.

2.3.4. PSD of road surface

As far as ride comfort is concerned, the main incentive comes from the various road excitation sources [10

13]. Another source from engine excitation can be treated as a cyclical motion added to the model. Usually,

road signals, given in the form of power spectral density, should be transformed into signals in time domain.

Fig. 10. Bushing between two parts.

Fig. 9. Rear suspension shock absorber damping force characteristic curve.

Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133 19

In this paper, white noise is used to produce the road excitation signals (see Fig. 12). According to National

Standard GB 7031vehicle vibration input representation of road roughness, PSD of the road roughness is

represented as

G

n

n G

n

n

0

n

n

0

_ _

w

; 34

n

0

0:1m

1

; 35

where n is spatial frequency, n

0

is reference spatial frequency, G

n

(n

0

) is the value of power spectrum density

when reference spatial frequency is n

0

and called road roughness coecient, w is frequency index, which de-

pends on the frequency structure of road spectrum. Given w = 2, according to National Standard GB/T4970-

1996, Eq. (34) can be expressed as

G

n

n 2pn

0

2

G

n

n

0

: 36

So we know from Eq. (36) that the power spectral density is a constant over the whole frequency range, which

is called white noise. Amplitude of PSD only depends on road roughness coecient G

n

(n

0

). Reference to the

eight classications standard of road roughness, the dierence of G

n

(n

0

) is four times among class A, class B

and class C road. Therefore all levels of road signals can be expressed by ADAMS function dened as

steptime; t; 0; t Dt; 4 N AKISPLtime L=V ; 0; spl 1; 0; 37

Fig. 11. Bushings between driving room and chassis.

Fig. 12. Road signals in time domain.

20 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

where L is the wheel span, V is the vehicle speed. According to the relevance between left wheels and right

wheels, the same or dierent road signals can be imposed to left wheels and right wheels. The time delay be-

tween front wheels and rear wheels is computed by Dt = L/V. For vehicle loading more than 20 tons, the con-

vex height of single-pulse test is 120 mm. Road signals are dened by ADAMS function as follows:

steptime; t; 0; t Dt; 120 steptime; t L=V ; 0; t Dt L=V ; 0: 38

In the modeling process, power plants and power transmission systems are expressed with torque functions,

and the test rig consists of 10 bearing posts, each of which is touched with the tires to provide support for the

vehicle. These posts can generate vertical motions specied by Eq. (37) or Eq. (38) just like road excitations.

By doing so, the vibration model of vehicle is completed (see Fig. 13), and simulation process can be recorded

as a continuous random process. The whole model consists of 855 degrees of freedom, 215 moving objects, 95

constrains, and 10 motions.

2.4. Simulation results and objective evaluation method

According to previous studies [1418], the vibration at frequency above 50 Hz is not signicant, and the

damped characteristic of pneumatic tires attenuates the accelerations at high frequencies. In this paper the

Nyquist frequency in the simulation is 50 Hz. After simulation, ADAMS/Postprocessor can provide acceler-

ations and power spectral densities in x, y, z directions at the driving-room seat, as shown in Figs. 1416.

In this paper, the objective evaluation method for ride comfort is based on ISO2631 [19]. The PSD function

G

a

(f) can be obtained by FFT algorithm for the acceleration. A weighted RMS in x, y, or z direction can be

expressed as

a

w

_

80

0:5

W

2

f G

a

f df

_ _

1

2

; 39

where a

w

is a weighted RMS in x, y, or z direction, and W(f) is weighted value for power spectral density and

evaluated as follow:

1 in Z direction; W f

0:5 f

1

2

; 0:9 < f 6 4;

1:0; 4 < f 6 8;

8=f ; 8 < f ;

_

_

40

Fig. 13. Whole vehicle model with testing jig.

Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133 21

2 in X; or Y direction; W f

1:0; 0:9 < f 6 2;

2=f ; 2 < f ;

_

41

when the three vibrations are considered, the total weighted RMS value of three direction accelerations can be

calculated by the following formula:

a

v

1:4a

xw

2

1:4a

yw

2

a

2

zw

1

2

; 42

where a

xw

, a

yw

, a

zw

, a

v

are weighted RMS in x, y, z direction and total weighted RMS, respectively.

Fig. 14. Acceleration and PSD of X direction acceleration of seat (v = 60 km/h, road condition = class C).

Fig. 15. Acceleration and PSD of Y direction acceleration of seat (v = 60 km/h, road condition = class C).

22 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

We now have all the elemental data required by further analysis. Then output the PSD data derived in

ADAMS/Postprocessor into the program compiled in Matlab. Figs. 17 and 18 show the total weighted

RMS comparison between simulation and experiment, when laded/unladen and traveling at speed of

40 km/h, 50 km/h, 60 km/h, 70 km/h. It is found that simulation results are slightly larger than experiment

ones. In fact there are a lot of rubber sleeves in the vehicle, and the measurement error of elastic compo-

nents can be as high as 15%. In other words there is an experimental measurement error, and thus the

dierence between the simulation and experiment can be foreseen. We should focus on the trend of sim-

ulation curve and experiment curve rather than the value variance. The trend of simulation is in good

agreement with the experiment, and this method also can be used to forecast the trend of change in the

ride comfort.

Fig. 16. Acceleration and PSD of Z direction acceleration of seat (v = 60 km/h, road condition = class C).

Fig. 17. Total weighted RMS comparison between simulation and experiment when unladen.

Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133 23

3. Evaluation comprising objective method and subjective comments

In fact, the limit value of acceleration acceptable for a system does not absolutely depend on the vibration

frequency, amplitude, direction, duration and the limits of three selected vibration exposures (reduced comfort

boundary, operation and reducing eciency limits and exposure limit). The limit of acceleration acceptable for

limousine is lower than that for ordinary car. A reasonable limit must take many factors into account, such as

the activities that people engage and tolerance level for risk of external environment, so as to ensure the peo-

ples well-being and systems normal operation, however, the limits given by Standard 2631 seem to ignore the

eects of these factors [20].

A problem existed in these objective evaluations for ride comfort is that one can hardly know exact design

eects when using these guidelines. In order to answer the question, the uncertainties of human responses to

vibrations are analyzed from a view of psychophysics. According to large mounts of experiment ndings, con-

clusion can be drawn that the distribution of human response to vibration obeys lognormal distribution,

which can be dened by membership function so as to establish the annoyance rate model. The advantage

of annoyance method is that it can correctly predict the number of unsatised people and give a quantitative

limit for total weighted RMS to improve the ride comfort. The acceleration mentioned in this section means

the total weighted RMS acceleration.

3.1. Method determining the membership

In fact, the data acquired by experiment are the common-eect of stochastic subjective response and ambig-

uous judgment. Fuzzy statistic methods are usually used to determine the membership in engineering. Many

experiments have proved that people can correctly judge the 11 continuous classes of psychological percep-

tion. A line with isometric points is used to describe each class of the membership from the lowest to the high-

est, and the points representing membership of each class can be calculated as follows:

v

i

i 1

K 1

; i 1; 2; . . . ; K; 43

where v

i

is the membership of ith class, and K is the number of judgment class. Here Oborne experiment apply-

ing signal detection theory can describe membership function of subjective response for dierent vibration. A

10-cm line indicates the level of discomfort with the left hand side corresponding to little discomfort and the

right hand side to much discomfort, and the class number is 5(K = 5). The values of subjective perception

Fig. 18. Total weighted RMS comparison between simulation and experiment when laded.

24 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

are determined by measuring the length of the line from the left hand (marked little discomfort) to the

respondents mark.

Assuming the subjective perceptions are mutually independent, we have Eq. (44), where l

i

is the location

average value, r

i

is the standard deviation. The farther the distance from little discomfort is, the greater the

value of the perception membership. The theoretical values of membership can be computed as Eq. (45). The

Comparison of membership between calculated results and theoretical values shown as in Table 1 proves the

rationality of membership denition as Eq. (43).

D

i1

l

i

l

1

2

r

2

i

r

2

1

1

2

i 6 1; 44

v

i

D

i1

D

51

: 45

3.2. Relationship between membership and acceleration

Most of the experiment data are provided in a form of subjective response and the corresponding acceler-

ation range. For example, several international famous experiments of vibration comfort are shown in Table

2. When the membership value can be treated as a function of acceleration, it can conclude that there is an

approximately linear relationship between the membership and logarithmic value of acceleration as shown

in Fig. 19.

Eq. (46) can be derived from Fig. 19, where a and b are two unknown parameters. If we have the two mem-

bership values of the lowest and highest class of subjective response and the corresponding acceleration values

respectively, a and b can be obtained and the value of a certain membership can be calculated

vu a Inu b: 46

ISO2631 is taken as an example as shown in Table 3. Knowing the two acceleration values and the corre-

sponding membership values of the lowest and highest class, the equation can be written as

0 a In0:315 b;

1 a In2:0 b:

_

47

So we solve Eq. (47) and have Eq. (48):

vu 0:541 Inu 0:625: 48

3.3. Establishment of annoyance rate model

Annoyance rate indicates the rate of people who cannot accept the external stimulus to the total statistical

people. It can be used to determine the annoyance threshold for vibration comfort. Annoyance threshold

means the limit of acceleration on the premise of ensuring acceptable comfort. Under discrete distribution

condition, the annoyance rate is introduced as follows:

Table 1

Comparison of membership between calculated results and theoretical values

Experiment results Calculated results of membership

Subjective response Location average

value (cm) l

i

Standard

deviation (cm) r

i

D

ij

Calculated results

based on Eq. (45) m

i

Theoretical values

based on Eq. (43) m

i

1. Very comfortable 1.07 0.6 0 0 0

2. Comfortable 2.58 0.64 1.746 0.251 0.25

3. A little uncomfortable 4.17 1.16 3.364 0.485 0.50

4. Uncomfortable 5.99 0.83 5.025 0.724 0.75

5. Extremely uncomfortable 7.95 0.72 6.943 1.00 1.00

Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133 25

Px

i

m

j1

v

j

n

ij

m

j1

n

ij

m

j1

v

j

pi; j; 49

where P(x

i

) is the annoyance rate under ith vibration intensity, n

ij

is the number of people having jth subjective

comment under ith vibration intensity, v

j

is the membership value of jth subjective comment, m is the class

number of subjective comment (m = 6 for ISO 2631),

m

j1

n

ij

is the total number of statistical people,

Table 2

International famous experiments of vibration comfort

Research Description for subjective comment Peak value of acceleration (m/s

2

)

Rheiher and Meister (1931) Imperceptible 0.0018

A little perceptible 0.0029

Perceptible 0.0125

Clearly perceptible 0.11

Uncomfortable 0.6

Very uncomfortable 1

Change (1967) Imperceptible <0.05

Perceptible 0.050.15

Agonising 0.150.5

Very agonising 0.51.5

Unbearable >1.5

Fothergill and Grin Perceptible, not uncomfortable 0.4

A little uncomfortable 1.1

Uncomfortable 1.8

Extremely uncomfortable 2.7

Oborne and Clark (1974) Extremely comfortable <0.23

Comfortable 0.230.5

Uncomfortable limit 0.51.2

Uncomfortable 1.22.3

Very uncomfortable >2.3

Jones and Saunders (1974) Not uncomfortable 0.33

Average uncomfortable limit 0.7

Uncomfortable 1.2

Very uncomfortable 2.2

Extremely uncomfortable 3.7

Lipper (1946) Imperceptible <0.002

A little perceptible 0.002

Clearly perceptible 0.009

A little unsatisfactory 0.025

Unsatisfactory 0.08

Very unsatisfactory 0.25

VDI2057 (1963) AB 0.008

BC 0.02

CD 0.0504

DE 0.128

EF 0.32

FG 0.8

GH 2.0

HJ 5.04

BS6841 Imperceptible 0.0050.01

Perceptible 0.010.02

Clearly perceptible 0.020.04

Very clearly perceptible 0.040.08

Strong vibration feeling 0.080.16

Very strong vibration feeling 0.160.315

26 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

pi; j n

ij

=

m

j1

n

ij

. Results of experiment conducted by Grin in 1978 demonstrate that the distribution of

human response to vibration obeys lognormal distribution:

f u

1

2

p

pur

exp

Inu l

In

u

2

2r

2

_ _

; 50

r

2

In1 d

2

; 51

l

Inx

Inx

1

2

r

2

; 52

where d is the variation coecient and d = 0.3. Considering the fuzzy and stochastic distribution, calculation

formula of annoyance rate is presented as

Px

_

1

u

min

1

2

p

pur

exp

Inu=x 0:5 r

2

2

2r

2

_ _

vudu; 53

where v(u) = 0.541 In(u) + 0.625 for ISO2631, u

min

is the acceleration corresponding to the lowest class of

subjective comment. Annoyance rate can be plotted as in Fig. 20. Now we have the quantitative relationship

between acceleration and anoyance rate, and can accurately predict the rate of people who feel uncomfortable

to outside vibration.

In fact, the normal value of annoyance rate is less than 0.5. When the value is 0.70.8, the acceleration may

be too excessive. In the case it is not a problem of ride comfort but of safety, so we focus the forepart of

Fig. 19. Relation between membership and acceleration logarithmic value of acceleration.

Table 3

Relationship between ISO2631 total weighted RMS and subjective comment

Objective value (ISO2631 total weighted RMS) (m/s

2

) Subjective comment

<0.315 Not uncomfortable

0.3150.63 A little uncomfortable

0.51.0 Fairly uncomfortable

0.81.6 Uncomfortable

1.252.5 Very uncomfortable

>2.0 Extremely uncomfortable

Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133 27

anoyance rate curve. According to the international famous standard of vibration comfort, when the acceptable

lowest limit is r

1

, the unacceptable limit is 4r

1

. Considering that people need to drive normally under the vibra-

tion intensity for a long time, it is reasonable to set the unacceptable limit as 3r

1

. From Figs. 16 and 17, the

Fig. 20. Annoyance rate curve.

Table 4

Stiness matching before/after optimization

Value (N/

mm)

Seat stiness,

K

ch

Driving-room

stiness, K

dr

Front suspension

stiness, K

f

Middle suspension

stiness, K

m

Rear suspension

stiness, K

r

Variation

range

[30%, +30%] [30%, +30%] [30%, +30%] [30%, +30%] [30%, +30%]

Original 7.3 48.7 395.72 2791.5 2791.5

Optimization 5.1100 34.090 277.00 3210.2 3210.2

Fig. 21. Flowchart of optimization design by combining subjective and objective methods.

28 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

range of acceleration of the vehicle is 0.91.3 m/s

2

, which is larger than the unacceptable limit

3r

1

(3

*

0.315 = 0.945) according to the standard ISO2631. Obviously the comfort of the vehicle cannot be

acceptable. Furthermore, the rate of unacceptable people, which is approximately 30% determined from the

questionnaire given in Appendix A, agrees well with the annoyance rate curve. Due to the bad road condition

of western China and the tractors large load, drivers always complain for its poor comfort. If the rate of unac-

ceptable people decreases to 15%, the level vibration could be acceptable. The corresponding value of total

weighted RMS, which can be interpolated from annoyance rate curve, is not greater than 1.0 m/s

2

.

4. Optimization design of ride comfort based on annoyance rate model

To enhance eciency of human and vehicle system as much as possible is the idea of optimization. That is

to say, while meeting the request of maneuverability and safety, we try to improve the ride comfort. The

Fig. 22. Comparison of X-direction accelerations between before/after optimization.

Fig. 23. Comparison of X-direction PSDs between before/after optimization.

Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133 29

comfort optimization problem is formulated as a constrained optimization problem shown as Eqs. (54) and

(55). Based on request of maneuverability and safety, the constraints are variation range of sensitive param-

eters and maximum limit of total weighted RMS. The independent variables chosen are the spring stinesses,

such as seat stiness K

ch

, driving-room stiness K

dr

, front suspension stiness K

f

, middle suspension stiness

K

m

and rear suspension stiness K

r

(K

m

= K

r

). These stiness parameters vary in the range of 30% and +30%

(see Table 4). The nal optimization scheme need further analysis of failure and economic. The whole ow-

chart of optimization design is shown as in Fig. 21. The optimization problem is formulated as

Minimize a

2

v

ix;y;z

w

i

a

iw

2

w

x

a

xw

2

w

y

a

yw

2

w

z

a

zw

2

; 54

Subject to

a

v

< 1:0;

0:7 k

i

6 k

i

6 1:3 k

i

; i 1; 2; ::; n:

_

55

Fig. 24. Comparison of Y-direction accelerations between before/after optimization.

Fig. 25. Comparison of Y-direction PSDs between before/after optimization.

30 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

In some sense, optimization of ride comfort for the special tractor is to nd out the matching relationship of

dierent parameters [21,22]. The design parameters mentioned previously are used to generate dierent con-

gurations. Each have ve dierent values, and work space is generated based on the Monte Carlo method in

ADAMS/Insight. Then ADAMS/view will simulate for each conguration and calculate the specied perfor-

mance measures, which are the accelerations in X, Y and Z directions. These accelerations data of each run

will be calculated by the Matlab program until minimal value of total weight RMS is achieved. The acceler-

ation and PSD in X, Y and Z directions with/without optimization are shown in Figs. 2227. Obviously the

amplitudes of the acceleration and PSD are distinctly reduced after optimization, and the total weight RMS is

0.9735 m/s

2

(<1.0 m/s

2

). Considering that the results of simulation are about 15% larger than that of exper-

iment ones, after conversion the value of experiment may be 0.8275 m/s

2

. Consequently the vibration level un-

der this conguration can be acceptable. According to the reports of DongFeng Automobile Engineering

Fig. 26. Comparison of Z-direction accelerations between before/after optimization.

Fig. 27. Comparison of Z-direction PSDs between before/after optimization.

Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133 31

Research Institute, the ride comfort of this vehicle is indeed improved after adjusting parameters based on the

optimization results.

5. Conclusions

A parametric model of the tractor with tandem suspension is modeled, where the nonlinear characteristics

of components such as leaf-spring, absorber and rubber sleeve are precisely described. The computer simula-

tion can simulate at specied speed and specied road surface roughness when the parameters of the tractor

are specied. Annoyance rate model is introduced to indicate the quantitative correlation between objective

method and subjective comment. With the denite relationship between them, it can give an accurate evalu-

ation index of ride comfort for the type of vehicle and determine a reasonable acceleration limit to further

improvement. The optimization design of ride comfort based on annoyance rate model helps to increase

the eciency of people and vehicle system as much as possible. The method is validated through the compar-

ison between the simulation and experiment results. The optimization work, shows that ride comfort of the

tractor can be improved by modifying of the parameters.

Acknowledgements

This research was partly supported by DongFeng Automobile Engineering Research Institute, Shiyan, Chi-

na. The author sincerely thanks Dr. Ming Jiang and engineer Yuliang Yang for their assistance in the exper-

iment. Dr. Li He and Dr. Xuefeng Jiang are also appreciated for provisions of instrumental vehicle and test

equipment.

Appendix A. Example of ride comfort subjective questionnaire

Name:

Mass: <60 kgh, 6070 kgh, 7080 kgh, 8090 kgh, 90100 kgh, >100 kgh

Length: <1.5 mh, 1.51.6 mh, 1.61.7 mh, 1.71.8 mh, 1.81.9 mh, >1.9 mh

Age: <20h, 2029h, 3039h, 4049h, 5059h, >60h

Fitness: Not uncomfortableh, A little uncomfortableh, Fairly uncomfortableh, uncomfort-

ableh, Very uncomfortableh, Extremely uncomfortableh

Exposure to tractor vehicles or o-road terrain:

Frequenth, Not frequenth, Military training?h

After you drive under the specic condition for a period of time, please mark the point on the line to indi-

cate your response:

32 Y. Yang et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1133

References

[1] M. Demic, J. Lukic, et al., Some aspects of the investigation of random vibration inuence on ride comfort, J. Sound Vibrat. 253 (1)

(2002) 109129.

[2] T.D. Gillespie, et al., Eect of heavy vehicle characteristics on pavement response and performance, Transportation Research Board

NCHRP Report no. 353, 1993.

[3] D. Cebon, Interaction between heavy vehicles and roads, SAE Technical Paper no. 93001, Society of Automotive Engineers, 1993.

[4] Hong Jiazhen, Computational Dynamics of Multibody Systems, Higher Education Press, Beijing, 1999.

[5] Chen Liping et al., Mechanical System Dynamic Analysis and ADAMS Application Tutorial, Tsinghua University Press, Beijing,

2005.

[6] Yu. Zhisheng, Automobile Theory, China Machine Press, Beijing, 2002, pp. 170182.

[7] Qin Min, Simulation Study of Vehicle Dynamics and Control, Jilin University, Jilin, 2003.

[8] S. Nishiyama, N. Uesugi, et al., Research on vibration characteristics between human body and seat, steering wheel, and pedals

(eects of seat position on ride comfort), J. Sound Vibrat. 236 (1) (2000) 121.

[9] D. Cebon, Simulation of the response of leaf-spring to broad band random, Vehicle System Dynamics 15 (6) (1985).

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Singapore, 1992.

[11] J.A. Marcondes, M.B. Snyder, S.P. Singh, Predicting vertical acceleration in vehicle through road roughness, J. Transp. Eng. ASCE

118 (1) (1992) 3349.

[12] Jin Ruichen, Song Jian, Simulation of the road irregularity and study of nonlinear random vibration of the automobile, Tsinghua Sci.

Technol. 39 (8) (1999).

[13] M.W. Sayers, T.D. Gillespie, C.A.V. Queiroz, The international road roughness experiment establishing correlation and calibration

standard for measurements, World Bank Technical Paper no.45, World Bank, Washington, DC, 1986.

[14] K.B. Todd, B.T. Kulakowski, Simple computer models for predicting ride quality and pavement loading for heavy trucks, Transp.

Res. Rec. 1215 (1991) 137150.

[15] D.J. Cole, D. Cebon, Validation of an articulated vehicle simulation dynamics, 1992, 21.

[16] A.F. Naude, J.A. Snyman, Optimization of road vehicle passive suspension systems. Part 2. Qualication and case study, Appl. Math.

Model. 27 (2003) 263274.

[17] A. Stribersky, F. Moser, W. Rulka, Structural dynamics and ride comfort of a rail vehicle system, Adv. Eng. Software 33 (2002) 541

552.

[18] I.M. Ibrahim, D.A. Crolla, D.C. Barton, Eect of frame exibility on the ride vibration of trucks, Comput. Struct. 58 (4) (1996) 709

713.

[19] P.S. Els, The applicability of ride comfort standards to o-road vehicles, J. Terramech. 42 (2005) 4764.

[20] M.J. Grin, Handbook of Human Vibration, Academic Press, London, 1994.

[21] P. Donati, A procedure for developing a vibration test method for specic categories of industrial trucks, J. Sound Vibrat. 215 (4)

(1998) 947957.

[22] P.S. Els, P.E. UYS, Investigation of the applicability of the dynamic-Q optimization algorithm to vehicle suspension design, Math.

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