This thesis reports the investigation into the modelling and simulation of an aircraft tyre and wheel assembly in finite element environment. The finite element simulations basing on aircraft tyre test and operational scenarios could predict the loads transferred from tyre and the stresses distributed to the wheel rim. The virtual analysis could assess the safety criteria of different tyre structures, which would lead to the cost and time circle reduction in tyre R&D process.
An H41x16.0R20 radial ply aircraft test tyre and its corresponding test wheel, provided by Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Limited, are adopted as the subject of this research. The material properties, especially the rubber and fabric materials, have been investigated. The finite element hyperelastic models have been utilized to represent rubbers and been correlated to experimental data.
The 2D and 3D finite element tyre models, along with the finite element wheel models are created in the commercial finite element code, LS-Dyna.
The finite element models have been validated with either industrial standardised simulation results or experimental data. Basing on the validated models, simulations that duplicating static test and dynamic operational scenarios have been developed. The researches have provided knowledge in comparing single and double bead tyre designs with respect to wheel loading mechanisms. The computational model also allowed manufacturers to assess the performance and safety criteria of a particular tyre at its design stage. The development of such models would add to the general drive towards the use of more virtual prototypes in an area traditionally reliant on experimental testing.