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Technical Paper

A New Methodology for Improving Accuracy of Structural Analysis of Car Body Parts

The Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is widely used in automotive industry for many applications, such as structural analysis, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), vibration behavior and acoustic properties, crashworthiness and, more recently, manufacturing process simulation. For all these FEA applications, accuracy is always a key issue. The analysis accuracy depends mainly on two factors: on one hand the FEA codes and on the other hand the definition of boundary conditions and material properties. Over the years, most FEA codes are well tested for accuracy through numerous benchmarks: therefore breakthroughs in further accuracy improvement from the aspect of FEA codes are difficult to achieve. On the other aspect, there is some room for FEA improvement by means of more accurate definition of material properties. In this paper, a new methodology for improving analysis accuracy by considering thickness variations of the component is proposed and validated using a structural body part.
Journal Article

Development of a High Performance Natural Gas Engine with Direct Gas Injection and Variable Valve Actuation

Natural gas is a promising alternative fuel for internal combustion engine application due to its low carbon content and high knock resistance. Performance of natural gas engines is further improved if direct injection, high turbocharger boost level, and variable valve actuation (VVA) are adopted. Also, relevant efficiency benefits can be obtained through downsizing. However, mixture quality resulting from direct gas injection has proven to be problematic. This work aims at developing a mono-fuel small-displacement turbocharged compressed natural gas engine with side-mounted direct injector and advanced VVA system. An injector configuration was designed in order to enhance the overall engine tumble and thus overcome low penetration.
Technical Paper

Soft Air Diffusion to Improve the Thermal Comfort - a Design Approach Based on CFD Tool and Virtual Thermal Manikin

The cabin comfort is one of the most competitive issues in the automotive area of business. The thermal comfort and the environmental well-being are fundamental performances that contribute to generate the more general idea of perceived quality. The CRF developed in the past the concept so-called “healthy bubble” that was implemented in the Lancia Dialogos concept car. The passengers are surrounded by an air bubble, created by generating low velocity air flows, that are diffused through the interior panels and components (e.g. dashboard, roof, back of the seats, etc.), and by surfaces temperature control (e.g. carpet, seats, etc.). At present the original idea has generally been accepted, and different solutions to diffuse air and to control surface temperature of vehicle interiors have been proposed by some automotive supplier.