Fang Chen - Rochester Hills MI
Christopher T. Griffen - Dearborn MI
Ford Motor Company - Dearborn MI
An apparatus and method for measuring full-field contact force distribution of a tire. A transparent, elastically deformable contact member having an elasticity substantially less than the elasticity of the tire is supported by a transparent rigid support member. As the tire is pressed into the contact member, the contact member deforms. Laser light illuminates the tire-contact member interface and is reflected to an imaging device which measures the displacement of the tire-contact member interface using interferometry principles. Because the elasticity of the contact member is known, the contact force distribution of the tire may be calculated. The apparatus and method may also be used to measure three-dimensional as well as dynamic contact force displacement.