Soil flow analysis for grouser wheels based on a particle image velocimetry method

Hirotoshi Nakamura, Kenji Nagaoka, Kazuya Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an analysis, based on a particle image velocimetry method, of soil flow field beneath a grouser wheel traveling over loose soil. Although the grouser wheel is expected to have better traction and mobility over fine, loose soil, its interaction mechanisms with the soil remain to be elucidated. Thus, a particle image velocimetry-based soil flow analysis is conducted to directly observe soil behavior around the grouser wheel. In the experimental analysis, key parameters of the soil flow field, such as general shape, thickness, streamlines of the flow field, soil velocity on the streamlines, and soil failure angle are examined quantitatively. From the results, the soil flow shape periodically changes with wheel rotation, and this change appears, depending on wheel slip varying over time. Furthermore, the experimental result of the soil failure angle differs drastically from its typical theory. These results will contribute to modeling the mechanical interaction between the grouser wheel and soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-241
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Terramechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct


  • Grouser wheel
  • Mobile robot
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Soil flow analysis


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