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Published in 1999


Influence of Passenger and Cargo Load on the At Limit Handling of a Mini Van, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Paper No. 1999-01-0449, International Congress and Exposition, Detroit, Michigan, March 1-4, 1999. Arndt, Mark W., Dickerson, Charles P., Arndt, Stephen M.

Using analysis of a mini-van test vehicle'static load conditions as a guide, four different vehicle loading situations were constructed. The loading situations represent the corners of the vehicle''s center of gravity position envelope. For the testing described in this paper, a single vehicle under conditions of varied load was subjected to a series of test maneuvers designed to elicit objective measure and comparison of vehicle steady-state and transient response. The purpose of this paper is to describe the test method and present the results of handling testing and limit stability testing of a 1991 Ford Aerostar mini-van/extended van under four different loading conditions. Differences observed in the plotted results of vehicle steady-state response for different load conditions are detectable, but small. The test results demonstrate differences in vehicle transient response for different loading configurations. Test results indicate increase propensity for wheel lift during step steer maneuvers for increase loading of the vehicle. Test results demonstrate increased occupant and/or increased cargo changes the vehicle's steer behavior. Overall, vehicle limit handling performance and required driver performance for varying passenger and cargo loading was objectively documented and shown measurably changed.


Vehicle Handling with Tire Tread Separation, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Paper No. 99-01-0120 and International Congress and Exposition, Detroit, Michigan, March 1-4, 1999. Dickerson, Charles P., Arndt, Mark W., Arndt, Stephen M.


Catastrophic and sudden tire tread separation is an event that drivers of motor vehicles may encounter and, in some instances, is implicated as the cause of motor vehicle crashes and related injury or property damage. In an effort to understand how tire tread separation affects vehicle handling, a series of tread separation handling test programs were conducted. In each tread separation test program a sport utility vehicle was instrumented and equipped with steel belted radial tires that were modified to emulate tread separation between the inner and outer steel belts. The test vehicle was then subjected to a variety of open and closed loop handling test maneuvers. This paper presents the data and analysis from these tests. The research demonstrates through controlled experiments that a tire tread separation has an effect on the vehicle’s fundamental handling characteristics. It also demonstrates that the effect depends on the position of the compromised tire on the vehicle.


The Motor Vehicle in the Post-Crash Environment, an Understanding of Ignition Properties of Spilled Fuels, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Paper No. 1999-01-0086, International Congress and Exposition, Detroit, Michigan, March 1-4, 1999. Arndt, Stephen M., Stevens, Don, Arndt, Mark W.

ignitor schematic

To date, the flammability of common automotive fluids under real-world conditions has not been well characterized for general use in the automotive community. This paper presents the results of a research program aimed at providing a greater understanding of the potential fire hazards of common fluids carried on board today''s vehicles. A literature review was conducted to define the ignition properties of common automotive fluids as determined very precisely in the lab environment. A test program was then established to gain insight into the ignition properties of common automotive fluids under some real-world conditions. Automotive engine and exhaust components were used to create a test mechanism which realistically represented the environment, temperatures, and surfaces to which vehicle fluids may be subjected. The reported laboratory results are compared to the test data. Tests were conducted on twelve fluids with and without ignition sources present. The results of the project state whether each of these fluids was found to ignite under the test conditions. For each of the fluids which did ignite, the lowest temperature at which ignition occurred is listed. Results show that for a variety of potentially spilled automotive fluids, a wide range of ignition properties exists.





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