A computer aided tool for tire sound quality evaluation was developed. Automotive engineers can evaluate a tire structure by listening to synthesized sound that the tire would radiate when it rolls on a specific type of road surface. Among three kinds of tire sound, this study dealt with only the tire sound that radiates through its structural vibration caused by road surface texture excitation. The tool can be used on personal computers. To make it happen, tire sound radiation process is modeled into two parts. One is excitation. Tire deformation at the contact patch was calculated from road surface texture database by rolling contact analyses using multi-body dynamics simulation software. The model includes rolling tire structure model with contact compliance and simple suspension system for the wheel axle. Observation of the calculation results gives such an insight that excitation waveforms from road surface have prominent peaks that occur only at high peaks isolated from others, and do not have dips. This transformation process from road surface waveform to excitation is more accurate than tire envelope model and also not prohibitive considering today’s low-price computing power. The other process is tire structure vibration response. By limiting the usage of tire structure models just in representing over all vibration modal responses to road surface excitations in relatively low frequency range, a simple structural finite element model (FEM) was created. In this FEM, tire wall composite structures are modeled as assembly of solid elements with uniform material properties. The trick in using this FEM model lies in its boundary condition setting. By measuring vibration transfer functions from many points on a contact patch to tire tread and sidewalls, excitation in the middle of the contact patch was found to be blocked to travel to the sidewalls in higher frequency range due to the contact restriction on the periphery of the patch. This finding is essential in giving suitable boundary conditions to the FEM model and choosing the excitation points. To make the computing time minimum for synthesis, the vibration responses of the tire are represented by infinite impulse response (IIR) digital filter banks. The waveform obtained by applying the measured road texture waveforms to the IIR filter, was transferred to sound waves by the sound command of Matlab. By modifying the IIR filter, automotive engineers can judge the effect of tire structural design changes.

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