The in-plane phenomena of interaction between the tyre structural response and contact force generation are
investigated in this work. The challenges of the physical tyre simulation are identified, primarily associated
with the computational load imposed by the need to capture the space distributed mechanisms that prescribe the above interaction. The method of modal expansion and reduction is proposed for the moderation
of this load. The theoretical framework for the transformation of a tyre modal representation into a transient
contact and shear force generation model is developed. Various modelling approaches are examined with
regards to their modal prediction characteristics. Linear and non linear structural features as well as the
physical properties that define the broad range modal behaviour are identified. A discretised form of the ring
model is derived and combined with a foundation of viscoelastic tread elements for simulating the transient
contact behaviour of the tyre. The resulting pattern of the modes' excitation justifies the validity of the
modal reduction method and reveals the relative importance of various mechanisms and physical properties
in tyre contact behaviour. The interaction between the friction controlled shear slip of the tread, the belt
compliance and the sidewall buckling is found to be reflected on the two-dimensional contact pressure distribution patterns. A method able to simulate the dynamic transient rolling and slipping operating conditions
is developed, although the small displacement assumption of the modal approach is dropped. The method,
which is based on the combined modal-time and space-time domain solutions, is applied on the study of
the physical mechanism of the launch process. The examination of the model under steady state kinematic
conditions reveals the saturation of the traction force for profound levels of slip, which highlights the contribution of the structural mechanisms on the macroscopically observed shear force performance of the tyre.
The variation of the modes' level of excitation, as induced by the operating conditions, is proposed for the
capture of the physical properties effect on tyre behaviour and performance.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.