Structural Evaluation of Ashcan and Performance Enhancement by Spring Optimization 2014-01-0350
Ashcan contributes to the aesthetics and elegance of the vehicle interiors. It is used to store the ash. Generally the ashcan is fitted on the console of the car. The operational requirement of ashcan is to open with minimum force but not at very low accelerations experienced during the vehicle bump event. Also closing force should be comparatively higher. The closing of the ashcan lid should ensure positive locking, which may be achieved by using cam and follower locking mechanism. The other requirement is that it should be structurally durable enough to sustain the repetitive loading during its operation. Ashcan may undergo severe abusive loading during its operation. To simulate these operations and understand the physics of the problem, a multi-step non-linear analysis involving a complex contact situation is carried out.
The scope of this paper is to explain the procedure of calculating the force required for closing and opening of the ashcan lid. The forces calculated using finite element analysis (F.E.A) are compared with physical test forces and the functionality failure is compared with field failure. Based on the design requirements, a number of proposals were developed. The proposals were virtually tested under normal working conditions and highly abusive loading. Best performing, optimal and feasible design solution was developed and selected. Main challenges in this task were to deal with extremely sensitive spring assembly, low operating forces and high level of nonlinearities involved in it.