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Limit Steady State Vehicle Handling
Published January 01, 1987 by Institution of Mechanical Engineers in United Kingdom
Previously, limit steady state handling has always been restricted to the qualitative statement that a vehicle has final understeer or final oversteer; it cannot be analysed by the conventional understeer gradient concept. A specific proposal is made for quantification of final understeer or oversteer. This is called the understeer number, and is defined by Nu = (Ar/Af) - 1, where Af and Ar are the lateral acceleration capabilities of the front and rear axles. Thus Nu is non-dimensional, is zero for a notional final neutral vehicle, positive for final understeer and negative for final oversteer. A typical value is 0.150 (rear drive) or 0.220 (front). The various design parameters that influence the understeer number are investigated, and equations are obtained and quantified, including centre of mass position, lateral load transfer distribution, longitudinal load transfer, traction, the components of aerodynamic forces and moments, the effect of non-free differentials and the effect of load increments. The effect of turning radius and slopes is also investigated. Thus the limit state of handling is subject to a quantitative assessment, showing the degree of a vehicle's commitment to final understeer or oversteer