Application of Kinetics of Thermal Degradation for Time-Temperature Analysis of Automotive Components 2009-01-1178
A fundamental problem in the development of automotive thermal protection strategies is the understanding of the effect of time and temperature on vehicle components life and their performance throughout the life of the vehicle. Due to restrictions on emissions and the stringent requirements for improved fuel economy, the use of polymers and synthetic materials has been widely adopted in automotive applications. It is therefore critical to develop a process to estimate life of engineering materials based on thermal testing and material physical properties. While a series of carefully selected vehicle tests can determine components temperatures during different testing conditions, a need still exists to determine the expected component life and performance throughout the life of the vehicle. Kinetic models have been widely used, in literature, to determine the aging of polymeric and composite materials over time. In this paper, bench test and literature data, for selected materials which are used in automotive applications, are analyzed to determine essential parameters for kinetic models of thermal degradation. The kinetic models are applied later to estimate the effect of time and temperature on the component life based on vehicle level thermal testing and the expected vehicle duty cycle.