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Technical Paper

New Half Shaft Bench Test Methodology for NVH Characterization

The main purpose of this paper is to develop a reliable bench test to understand the vibratory behavior of the half shafts under applied torque comparable to an idle condition. In some cases, the half shaft path is a major factor influencing the idle vibration in the vehicle. At idle condition vehicle vibrations are caused by engine excitation and then they pass through different paths to the body structure. Half shaft manufacturers generally characterize shaft joints for their frictional behavior and typically there is no data for vibration characteristics of the half shaft under idle conditions. However, for predictive risk management, the vibratory behavior of the half shaft needs to be identified. This can be achieved from measured frequency response functions under preloaded test conditions.
Technical Paper

Automotive HVAC Dual Unit System Cool-Down Optimization Using a DFSS Approach

Automotive AC systems are typically either single unit or dual unit systems, while the dual unit systems have an additional rear evaporator. The refrigerant evaporates inside these heat exchangers by taking heat and condensing the moisture from the recirculated or fresh air that is being pushed into the car cabin by air blowers. This incoming cold air in turn brings the cabin temperature and humidity to a level that is comfortable for the passengers. These HVAC units have their own thermal expansion valve to set the refrigerant flow, but both are connected to the main AC refrigerant loop. The airflows, however, are controlled independently for front and rear unit that can affect the temperature and amount of air coming into the cabin from each location and consequently the overall cabin cool-down performance.
Technical Paper

HVAC System Bench Test Analysis for TXV Tuning

In today’s automotive industry, the A/C (Air-conditioning) system is emerging into a high level of technological growth to provide quick cooling, warm up and maintaining the air quality of the cabin during all-weather conditions. In HVAC system, TXV plays vital role by separating high side to low side of vapor compression refrigeration system. It also regulates the amount of refrigerant flow to the evaporator based on A/C system load. The HVAC system bench laboratory conducts the test at different system load conditions to evaluate the outputs from tests during initial development stage to select the right TXV in terms of capacity and Superheat set point for a given system. This process is critical in HVAC developmental activity, since mule cars will be equipped with selected TXV for initial assessment of the system performance.
Journal Article

Warranty Forecasting of Repairable Systems for Different Production Patterns

Warranty forecasting of repairable systems is very important for manufacturers of mass produced systems. It is desired to predict the Expected Number of Failures (ENF) after a censoring time using collected failure data before the censoring time. Moreover, systems may be produced with a defective component resulting in extensive warranty costs even after the defective component is detected and replaced with a new design. In this paper, we present a forecasting method to predict the ENF of a repairable system using observed data which is used to calibrate a Generalized Renewal Processes (GRP) model. Manufacturing of products may exhibit different production patterns with different failure statistics through time. For example, vehicles produced in different months may have different failure intensities because of supply chain differences or different skills of production workers, for example.
Journal Article

Degradation Analysis of Flexible Film Cables in an Automotive Environment

Automobiles have a high degree of mechanical and electrical complexity. However, product complexity has the accompanying effect of requiring high levels of design and process oversight. The net result is a product creation process which is prone to creating failures. These failures typically have their origin in an overall lack of complete understanding of the system in terms of materials, geometries and energy flows. Despite all of the engineering intentions, failures are inevitable, common, and must be dealt with accordingly. In the worst case, if a failure manifests itself into an observable failure the customer may have a negative experience. Therefore, it is imperative that design engineers, suppliers along with reliability professionals be able to assess the design risk. One approach to assess risk is the use of degradation analysis. Degradation analysis often provides more information than failure time data for assessing reliability and predicting the remnant life of a system.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Aluminum Edge Stretching Limit Using 3D Digital Image Correlation

This paper introduces an industrial application of digital image correlation technique on the measurement of aluminum edge stretching limit. In this study, notch-shape aluminum coupons with three different pre-strain conditions are tested. The edge stretching is proceeded by standard MTS machine. A dual-camera 3D Digital Image Correlation (DIC) system is used for the full field measurement of strain distribution in the thickness direction. Selected air brush is utilized to form a random distributed speckle pattern on the edge of sheet metal. A pair of special optical lens systems are used to observe the small measurement edge area. From the test results, it demonstrate that refer to the notched coupon thickness, pre-tension does not affect the fracture limit; refer to the virgin sheet thickness, the average edge stretch thinning limits show a consistent increasing trend as the pre-stretch strain increased.
Journal Article

Design of a Composite Structural Panel for High Volume Production

As CAFE requirements increase, automotive OEMs are pursuing innovative methods to lightweight their Body In Whites (BIWs). Within FCA US, this lightweighting research and development activity often occurs through Decoupled Innovation projects. A Decoupled Innovation team comprised of engineers from the BIW Structures Group, in collaboration with Tier 1 supplier Magna Exteriors, sought to re-design a loadbearing component on the BIW that would offer significant weight savings when the current steel component was replaced with a carbon fiber composite. This paper describes the design, development, physical validation and partnership that resulted in a composite Rear Package Shelf Assembly solution for a high-volume production vehicle. As the CAFE requirements loom closer and closer, these innovation-driven engineering activities are imperative to the successful lightweighting of FCA US vehicles.