Modeling of rollover protective structure and falling object protective structure tests on a composite cab for skid steer loaders

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Pai, Krishna N.
Lankarani, Hamid M.
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Machines have become indispensable as part of our day today lives. They have made a stand in various fields like agriculture, construction, mining, materials handling, excavating and general use in industries. Skid Steer loader is one such machine which has the ability to fit into all of these categories. Skid steer loaders are known the world over for versatility and maneuverability. These are agile machines which have become a part of most industries. Their ability of having various attachments makes them proficient in handling tasks, which otherwise would be difficult for a human being. For these skid steer loaders to work to their full potential a skilled operator is required. Among other safety features, these skid steer loaders need to be accountable for the safety of the operator. So the cab mounted on these skid steer loaders need to conform to Roll Over Protective Structure also called as ROPS and Falling Object Protective Structure otherwise known as FOPS standards. There are various standards laid down by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for these ROPS/FOPS cabs on skid steer loaders and other construction and mining equipments world over. This study deals with the composite modeling of ROPS/FOPS cab as per ISO 3471:1994 and ISO 3449:1992 Level I standards for skid steer loaders. In this research, a skid steer loader model with the operator cab is constructed and tested for the ISO standards. A section of the cab is then chosen and its properties are changed to composite properties. An attempt is made to use Glass fiber/epoxy composite materials for the section designed in this study. In addition, a parametric study is carried out on the section to satisfy the current standards in the industry. It is demonstrated that the section with the use Glass fiber/epoxy with a pertinent orientation and thickness may present more energy absorption than the present steel structure. It is demonstrated that the new designed composite section with Glass fiber/epoxy may be more effective than the present steel structure. With the advance in computer simulations, finite element (FE) model of the skid steer loader is used to predict the vehicle behavior in case of roll over. In addition, MSC Patran/Hypermesh has been used as the modeler and LS-Dyna as the solver to run the required simulations.

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Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
"May 2006."
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 53-54)
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