REDESIGNING THE WHEEL: AN INNOVATIVE DESIGN THAT ENHANCES THE SAFETY OF HEAVY MINING VEHICLE WHEEL ASSEMBLIES
To accommodate the large payloads and harsh operating conditions associated with heavy vehicles in the mining industry, off-the-road (OTR) tires are typically used with heavy mining vehicles. These tires have increased abrasion and wear resistance due to their thicker tread, sidewall and bead thicknesses. Given these features, OTR tires are much stiffer than conventional passenger vehicle tires and cannot be mounted to a single-piece rim without damaging the structural integrity of the tire during the mounting process. Therefore, multi-piece wheels are used with OTR tires to facilitate mounting. While these assemblies are necessary, several instances of their failure have been reported to result in injuries or fatalities within the mining workplace. Many of these failures were specifically reported to be caused by the disengagement of the wheel lock ring - a component used to securely engage the assembly during operation. In this study, a threaded-connection locking mechanism has been proposed in place of the traditional lock ring design. The performance of this threaded-connection was numerically evaluated in a pull-out test against a conventional five-piece wheel assembly. The pull-out test was devised as a means of quantifying the engagement ability of each wheel’s locking mechanism. A high degree of modelling accuracy was maintained throughout the analysis by validating the vertical and horizontal static loaddeflection behaviour of the rim model of the five-piece wheel assembly against experimental data. Through validation, the model data were found to be within 10.5 and 4.80 %, for vertical and lateral loaddeflection behaviour, respectively. Results from the pull-out analysis found that the threaded-connection demonstrated a 113 % increase in the force required for disengagement to occur relative to the conventional five-piece design - a force of 9,550 kN in total.
Tires; Models; Model; Behaviours; Design; Vehicles; analysis; Loading;