Winter driving is here for most of the Midwest of the United States. That means slippery roads and reduced visibility for drivers in states like Michigan. For the safety of drivers and passengers, it is crucial that vehicles handle well in these tough conditions. Vehicle manufacturers put their designs through rigorous testing and validation so that drivers can be confident during their snowy commute. Much of this testing is done using Michigan Scientific Wheel Force Transducers (WFTs). These precise and versatile transducers are used to measure all forces and moments imparted on a wheel. Michigan Scientific designs and manufactures the widest range of WFTs for use on motorcycles to large agriculture equipment, and everything in between.
Wheel Force Transducers for Vehicle Testing
Michigan Scientific Wheel Force Transducers are known for being incredibly reliable and easy to install. This is important for winter vehicle testing. They can easily be used in any testing environment, including snow, without compromising transducer precision or durability. The Wireless Telemetry Wheel Force Transducer is ideal for winter testing for vehicle dynamics and handling in extreme conditions. Check out the video below to see a real world test while using Michigan Scientific WFTs in the snow.
Determining Tire Slip Using Wheel Force Transducers
What is not shown in the video, but was measured during testing, was when the tire was slipping excessively with a low coefficient of friction (COF). The wheel force transducer measured the forces imparted on the wheel as well as the wheel speed. When the tire starts to slip due to a low COF on ice, snow, or even sand, the data will show an increase in wheel speed in conjunction with a decrease in force on the wheel.
This is not only important for vehicle development and determining how the vehicle handles in the snow, but for tire testing and development as well. Real-world data of the forces and moments on a vehicle wheel is extremely valuable for all parts of tire testing and validation. It is important to have accurate measurements of how the tire interacts with both the vehicle and the environment, and how that may impact vehicle handling for the driver. Customers rely on manufacturers to ensure that their vehicles are safe.