Functionality Analysis of Thermoplastic Composite Material to Design Engine Components 2020-01-0774
Developing of innovative technologies and materials to meet the requirements of environmental legislation on vehicle emissions has paramount importance for researchers and industries. Therefore, improvement of engine efficiency and fuel saving of modern internal combustion engines (ICEs) is one of the key factors, together with the weight reduction. Thermoplastic composite materials might be one of the alternative materials to be employed to produce engine components to achieve these goals as their properties can be engineered to meet application requirements. Unidirectional carbon fiber reinforced PolyEtherImide (CF/PEI) thermoplastic composite is used to design engine connecting rod and wrist pin, applying commercial engine data and geometries. The current study is focused on some elements of the crank mechanism as the weight reduction of these elements affects not only the curb weight of the engine but the overall structure. As a matter of fact, by reducing the reciprocating mass, alternate forces will be reduced and hence the size of the structural elements. Also, other elements of the engine can be designed for lightweighting, but the crank mechanism elements maximize the effects, by reducing both loads and weight. Finite element analysis (FEM) has been conducted for proper stress analysis and accordingly examine the design and parts functionalities. FEM analysis is performed using Altair HyperMesh for mesh optimization to conduct stress analysis of standard engine components made of steel and to redesign the parts using thermoplastic material to sustain the loads and stresses. Then the design modification has been considered to reduce loads and weight without parts performance interruption under service.