This thesis investigates the use of an active anti-roll bar as a means of improving the handling of an off-road vehicle. The active anti-roll bar consists of a stiff anti-roll bar and a hydraulic actuator at the one end between the anti-roll bar and the rear axle of the vehicle. The system is designed so that the anti-roll bar can be preloaded in both directions by the actuator. The displacement of the hydraulic actuator is close loop controlled to be a function of the lateral acceleration of the vehicle, which is measured by an accelerometer. For this study, full vehicle simulations were done in ADAMS/View to predict the response of the proposed solutions. A Land Rover Defender 110 was used as the test vehicle to verify the results of the simulations. Constant radius tests and the severe double-lane-change manoeuvre, which are standard handling tests, were used to determine the vehicle’s handling performance. Handling performance was quantified by measuring the body roll angle during the manoeuvre and noting the maximum roll angle. The effect of the active anti-roll bar on ride comfort was measured by driving over Belgian paving at a constant speed. The results show that the proposed system reduces the body roll angle to zero up to a lateral acceleration of 0.4 g during steady state handling and provided a 74% improvement in maximum body roll angle during a double-lane-change-manoeuvre at 70 km/h. The system has no detrimental effect on the ride comfort of the vehicle.
Dissertation (MEng)--University of Pretoria, 2009.