Design And Development Of An Improved Anti-Lock Braking System For Two-Wheelers
In today’s fast moving world, automobiles are facing challenges in terms of having to survive road accidents, increasing traffic, bad road-conditions and high/express ways. Brake systems play a vital role in controlling the vehicle speed while avoiding road accidents. The conventional brake systems consist of basically an actuator, transmission and frictional parts. This system is difficult for manipulated control by the driver during emergency and panic braking situations. In particular road and environmental conditions, it requires certain skill to have safe and effective brake control, which is always not possible from all drivers. Wheel locking is a predominant phenomenon during panic braking and this will cause vehicle skidding resulting in injuries and road accidents. In the case of a two-wheeler, being a single-track vehicle, skidding is one of the major causes for fatal road accidents due to loss in lateral balance. As the road safety regulations are becoming more stringent, the anti-lock brake systems (ABS) will replace the conventional brake systems in all road vehicles to avoid accidents and to improve vehicle safety. Early ABS systems, developed in the last 100-years, use intermittent and cyclic brake pressure control by sensing the wheel speed or wheel-slip as one of the major control inputs. Regulating the brake pressure with a preset threshold value is another method. These ABS systems have used electronics, or hydraulics or pure mechanical control. However, such ABS are not widely used in two-wheelers and other low cost vehicles till now, because of several limitations identified as follows: High cost, power supply needed for its operation in the case of intermittent and cyclic brake control, susceptibility to failure in the electronics system, interference from RF signals (from cell-phones for example), uneasiness to drivers from pedal pulsations with pedal noise, heavier weight, increased vehicle vibrations and failure modes of wheels due to torsional vibrations. The present research work is carried out to develop a new mechanical ABS concept, which will address most of the above problems. During braking, the change in rider-input force will change wheel reactions. This change is made proportional to the change in rider input force only upto wheel locking. Such a principle is used to develop the new mechanical ABS. The new concept regulates the output force from the ABS, by sensing the dynamic wheel reactions with increase in rider-response. The ABS output force is regulated by one of the following ways: (a) Slipping-down the lever-ratio or (b) preventing the excessive brake input force. Based on the parameters like less number of parts, least weight, simplicity, reliability, efficiency, durability, time-response, etc., the second method (of preventing the excessive brake input force) has been chosen. Further a new concept of ABS interconnecting system is proposed for usage between the front and rear wheels of the vehicle. This interconnecting system will ensure that the two mechanical ABS systems function at any kind of braking-balance between the front and rear applications. An analytical vehicle model has been developed with several input parameters like mass, geometry, inertia, aerodynamic properties, frictions of road and bearing-supports, road gradients, etc. From this analytical model, the dynamic wheel reactions and limiting adhesion of each tyre for various braking conditions are determined and the results are used to design the mechanical ABS. The same analytical model is used to predict the brake performance like stopping distance, vehicle deceleration and the vehicle speed variation for ideal braking conditions. The new ABS is modelled in Pro-E using the inputs from the analytical model. To evaluate the concept, a functional proto-type is built and fitted on a motorcycle. The ABS is evaluated for its functionality and performance at different road (level surface, up-gradients and down gradients) and environmental conditions (dry and wet road conditions). Using the VBOX II, proximate sensors and load-cells fitted on the vehicle, the vehicle stopping distance, wheel slip and pedal force are measured. The results show that wheel locking does not occur under panic driving conditions, which is the primary objective. In addition, the results show a good agreement with the predicted stopping distance and vehicle deceleration from the analytical model. As there is good scope for this new mechanical ABS for use in two-wheelers and other low cost vehicles, further research is needed to make this system work in curvilinear motion & banked surfaces.