Investigation on Fatigue Failure in Tyres
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Tyres are highly engineered complex rubber composite products. They are constructed from a wide range of different materials in addition to the rubber. In different parts of the tyre’s construction, the rubber elements are expected to perform different functions and as a consequence many different types of rubber are used, each of which will have its own specific detailed compound formulation. These different regions of a tyre’s construction are joined together by different types of molecular bonding. This variety of materials introduces potential sources of failure both in the homogenous regions within the tyre’s construction but also at the interfaces between them. This thesis investigates the crack growth resistance of the rubber materials used in different regions of a tyre’s construction as well as the interfaces that are found between the different parts of the tyre. A fracture mechanics framework was used to investigate the fatigue behaviour of bulk rubber and some of the interfaces. The loading of a tyre is periodic in nature as a consequence of the wheel’s rotation therefore the materials were characterised over a range of loading conditions. The effect of cyclical loading frequency on the fatigue behavior of the bulk rubber was also investigated. This work discovered that the amount of crack growth per cycle was comprised from two different crack growth contributions. The first is related to the steady tear which is related to the length of time the load is applied. The second resulted from additional damage caused by the repeated loading and unloading of the material. Potential reasons for this additional crack growth contribution are discussed. The interfacial fatigue properties between adjoining and potentially dissimilar rubber compounds were examined using a fatigue peeling experiment. A novel test piece geometry was developed to evaluate the fatigue properties of interfaces in tyres and it was also used to investigate how different processing parameters such as the pressure at the interface during vulcanisation alter the interfacial strength. A significant effect was observed and this was related to the different phenomena occurring when two rubbery polymers are brought into contact. Finally, a fracture mechanics approach was also used to derive the value of the tearing energy, the variable governing crack growth propagation in the rubber materials found in tyres, using submodelling technique in finite element analysis. The tearing energy values at different locations within a tyre were calculated and are shown not to exceed the minimum energy criteria for crack propagation under normal service conditions.
AuthorsBaumard, Thomas Louis Marie
- Theses