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Sensors 2017, 17(4), 707;

Optimization of an Optical Test Bench for Tire Properties Measurement and Tread Defects Characterization

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Doctor Ortiz Ramos s/n, 29071 Malaga, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2016)


Tire characteristics and behavior are of great importance in vehicle dynamics since the forces transmitted in the tire-road contact are the main contributors to global vehicle performance. Several research groups have focused on the study and modeling of tires. Some of the most important factors that need to be known are tread characteristics and pressure distribution in the tire-ground contact patch. In this work, a test bench has been used to adequately determine the aforementioned factors. The measurement principle of the test bench is the frustration of total internal reflection (FTIR) of light. It makes use of a laterally illuminated glass on which the tire leans. An interposed plastic interface between them causes the reflection of light. Finally, a video camera captures the bright image formed through the glass. The brightness level in each pixel of the image is related to existing normal pressure. A study of the parameters that affect the test bench calibration such as type of interface material used, diffuse light, hysteresis, creep and transverse light absorption is performed. Experimental tests are conducted to relate tire inflation pressure and camber angle to the pressure distribution. Furthermore, the test bench is used to detect and evaluate the influence of defects in the tire on the contact pressures. View Full-Text
Keywords: frustrated total internal reflection; tire; contact pressure; sensors frustrated total internal reflection; tire; contact pressure; sensors

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Castillo Aguilar, J.J.; Cabrera Carrillo, J.A.; Guerra Fernández, A.J.; Postigo Pozo, S. Optimization of an Optical Test Bench for Tire Properties Measurement and Tread Defects Characterization. Sensors 2017, 17, 707.

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