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Technical Paper

Method for Designing and Evaluating Pedestrian Protection Energy Absorbers for Various Car Geometries

2004-03-08
2004-01-1702
This paper discusses a Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) based methodology for designing an injection molded bumper energy absorber to help meet vehicle pedestrian protection requirements. The development process is described, and an example is presented of its use in designing an injection molded energy absorber for a range of various vehicle styling parameters. First, an idealized set-up incorporating the car styling parameters critical for pedestrian protection requirements was developed. Then, the vehicle and Energy Absorber (EA) geometries were parameterized and a DFSS process was employed to investigate the design space using Finite Element Impact Analysis with a commercially available Lower Leg Form Impactor.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of a Thermoplastic Structural IP

2003-03-03
2003-01-1388
An Instrument Panel (IP) cockpit is one of the most complex vehicle systems, not only because of the large number of components, but also because of the numerous design variations available. The OEM can realize maximum benefit when the IP cockpit is assembled as a module. This requires increased performance attributes including safety, durability, and thermal performance, while meeting styling and packaging constraints, and optimizing the program imperatives of mass and cost. The design concept discussed in this paper consists of two main injection molded parts that are vibration welded to form a stiff structure. The steering column is attached to the cowl and plastic structure by a separate steel column support. The plastic IP structure with integrated ducts is designed and developed to enable the IP cockpit to be a modular system while realizing the benefits of mass and cost reduction.
Technical Paper

Conductive Polyphenylene Ether/Polyamide Blend for Saturn Exterior Body Panels

2001-03-05
2001-01-0446
The evolution toward the use of electrostatic painting processes has been driven primarily by environmental legislation and efforts to improve efficiencies in the painting process. The development of conductive substrate material compliments the industry trend toward a green environment through further reductions in emissions of volatile organic compounds during the painting process. Traditionally, electrostatic painting of thermoplastics requires that a conductive primer be applied to the substrate prior to topcoat application. The conductive polymer blend of polyphenylene ether and polyamide provides sufficient conductivity to eliminate usage of conductive primers. Additional benefits include improved transfer efficiencies of the primer and top coat systems, uniform film builds across the part, and improved painting of complex geometries.
Technical Paper

Predicting Impact Performance of Painted Thermoplastic Exterior Body Panels

2001-03-05
2001-01-0445
Automotive exterior paint systems can significantly affect the impact performance of thermoplastic body panels. To utilize the benefits of predictive engineering as a tool to assist in the design and development of thermoplastic body panels, thermoplastic body panel materials have been characterized with typical automotive paint systems for use for finite element modeling and analysis. Paint systems used for exterior body panels can vary from rigid to more flexible, depending on the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. Likewise, thermoplastics for body panels vary in mechanical properties, primarily depending on the heat performance requirements of the application. To understand the effects of paint systems on impact performance of thermoplastic body panels, two different paint systems, representing “rigid” and “more flexible,” were evaluated on two body panel grades of thermoplastics with different mechanical properties.
Technical Paper

Predicting Material Processing Degradation

2001-03-05
2001-01-1273
As the need for plastic components with high-performance and low systems cost continues to escalate, the issues associated with bringing applications to automotive market have become more complex. Automotive applications such as seamless integral Passive Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (PSIR) systems can have tearseams that are either molded-in or laser scored. Molded-in tearseams in seamless Instrument Panels (IP) eliminate the secondary operation of laser scoring, but they warrant thin wall molding conditions. This paper describes material characterization under thinwall molding conditions wherein the effects of processing on mechanical properties are explored. This paper also discusses results from a proprietary finite element code developed at GE to predict the processing parameters, which affect the mechanical properties of the material at the tearseam in a seamless IP system.
Technical Paper

Engineering Development and Performance of an Integrated Structural Instrument Panel Assembly and Heater-Ventilation-Air-Conditioning Assembly

2000-03-06
2000-01-0416
Textron Automotive Trim, Valeo Climate Control, and Torrington Research Company, with assistance from GE Plastics, have developed an integrated instrument panel system to meet ever-increasing industry targets for: Investment and piece-cost reduction; Mass/weight savings; Quality and performance improvements; Packaging and space availability; Government regulation levels; and Innovative technology. This system, developed through feedback with the DaimlerChrysler Corporation, combines the distinctive requirements of the instrument panel (IP) with the heater-ventilation-air-conditioning (HVAC) assembly. Implementing development disciplines such as benchmarking, brainstorming, and force ranking, a number of concepts were generated and evaluated. Using a current-production, small, multi-purpose vehicle environment, a mainstream concept was designed and engineered.
Technical Paper

Three-Dimensional Heat Transfer & Thermoelastic Deformation Predictions in Forward Lighting

2000-03-06
2000-01-1396
The thermal performance of an automotive forward-lighting assembly is predicted with a computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) program. A three-dimensional, steady-state heat-transfer model seeks to account for convection and radiation within the enclosure, conduction through the thermoplastic walls and lens, and external convection and radiation losses. The predicted temperatures agree well with experimental thermocouple and infrared data on the housing. Driven by the thermal expansion of the air near the bulb surface, counter-rotating recirculation zones are predicted within the enclosure. The highest temperatures in the plastic components are predicted on the inner surface of the shelf above the bulb where airflow rising from the hot bulb surface impinges.
Technical Paper

A Predictive Design Methodology for Active Top Pads During Airbag Deployment

1999-03-01
1999-01-0688
Using a combination of engineering test experience, explicit finite-element analysis, and advanced materials characterization, a predictive engineering method has been developed that can assist in the development of active top pads. An active top pad is the component of the instrument panel that covers the passenger airbag module and articulates during a crash event, allowing the airbag to deploy. This paper highlights the predictive analysis method, analytical results interpretation, and suggestions for future development.
Technical Paper

Design & Development of a Prototype Gas-Assist-Molded Glovebox Door

1998-02-23
980963
The purpose of this paper is to discuss design methodology, manufacturing considerations, and testing proveout for a prototype gas-assist-molded, energy-absorbing, glovebox door program. The design used a single gas pin mounted in a multiple-gas-channel component and an internal gas manifold to form an efficient energy absorbing system. The end goal for the development program was to manufacture a glovebox door in a system that could meet the customer's targets for cost, surface appearance, and safety considerations without degrading function and fit. This paper will discuss the ability of a design methodology to predict actual component performance using engineering calculations, analytical tools, and prototype testing/molding during the development.
Technical Paper

Conductive Thermoplastic Resin for Electrostatically Painted Applications

1998-02-23
980983
The formulation of injection moldable thermoplastics with small loadings of graphite nanotubes provides sufficient conductivity in molded parts to allow for use in electrostatic painting applications. Normally, plastic parts need to be painted with a conductive primer prior to the electrostatic painting of base and clear coats. The use of conductive plastics eliminates the need for the priming step, and improves paint transfer efficiency and first pass yield. These elements provide obvious savings in materials and labor. What is less obvious, however, is the dramatic positive environmental impact that can occur through the reduction in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Graphite nanotube technology provides advantages over other technologies such as conductive carbon black. In order to reach the percolation threshold for conductivity in carbon-black-containing resins, the loading of carbon black required tends to embrittle the polymer.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of a Generic Door Hardware Module Concept

1998-02-23
980999
This paper documents the design methodology, part performance, and economic considerations for a generic hardware module applied to a front passenger-car door. Engineering thermoplastics (ETPs), widely used in automotive applications for their excellent mechanical performance, design flexibility, and parts integration, can also help advance the development of modular door-hardware systems. Implementation of these hardware carriers is being driven by pressures to increase manufacturing efficiencies, reduce mass, lower part-count numbers, decrease warranty issues, and cut overall systems costs. In this case, a joint team from GE Plastics, Magna-Atoma International/Dortec, and Excel Automotive Systems assessed the opportunity for using a thermoplastic door hardware module in a current mid-size production vehicle. Finite-element analysis showed that the thermoplastic module under study withstood the inertial load of the door being slammed shut at low, room, and elevated temperatures.
Technical Paper

Development of an Advanced, Engineering Thermoplastic Step-Pad Bumper for a Sport Utility Vehicle

1997-02-24
970485
A conceptual step-pad bumper system has been designed for a sport utility vehicle. This bumper incorporates an all-thermoplastic solitary beam/fascia with a Class A finish and a replaceable, grained thermoplastic olefin (TPO) or urethane step pad. The rear beam is injection molded and the cover plate features integrated through-towing capabilities and electrical connections. The bumper is designed to pass FMVSS Part 581, 8 km/h impacts. The system can potentially offer a 5.0-13.6 kg weight savings at comparable costs to conventional step-pad bumper systems. This paper will detail the design and development of the concept and finite-element analysis (FEA) validation.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of an Engineering Thermoplastic Energy Absorbing System for Automotive Knee Bolsters

1997-02-24
970725
Traditional knee bolster designs consist of a first-surface plastic component covered by paint or vinyl skin and foam, with a subsurface steel plate that transfers knee loads to 2 steel crush brackets. The design was developed to meet FMVSS 208 and OEM requirements. More recently, technological developments have allowed for the steel plate to be replaced by a ribbed plastic structure, which offers cost and weight savings to the instrument panel system. However, it is still a hybrid system that combines plastic with the 2 steel crush brackets. This paper will detail the development of an all-plastic design, which consolidates the plastic ribbed reinforcement plate with the 2 steel crush cans in a single engineering thermoplastic component. The new system is expected to offer further cost and weight savings.
Technical Paper

A Structural Instrument Panel from Glass-Mat Thermoplastic for the Small-Car Market

1997-02-24
970726
Designers and engineers encounter many challenges in developing vehicles for the small-car market. They face constant pressure to reduce both mass and cost while still producing vehicles that meet environmental and safety requirements. At the same time, today's discriminating consumers demand the highest quality in their vehicles. To accommodate these challenges, OEMs and suppliers are working together to improve all components and systems for the high-volume small-car market. An example of this cooperative effort is a project involving an integrated structural instrument panel (IP) designed to meet the specific needs of the small-car platform. Preliminary validation of the IP project, which uses a compression-molded, glass-mat-thermoplastic (GMT) composite and incorporates steel and magnesium, indicates it will significantly reduce part count, mass, assembly time, and overall cost.
Technical Paper

Correlation of Finite-Element Analysis to Free-Motion Head-Form Testing for FMVSS 201U Impact Legislation

1997-02-24
970163
Automotive engineers and designers are working to develop pillar-trim concepts that will comply with the upper interior head-impact legislation, FMVSS 201U. However, initial development cycles have been long and repetitive. A typical program consists of concept development, tool fabrication, prototype molding, and impact testing. Test results invariably lead to tool revisions, followed by further prototypes, and still more impact testing. The cycle is repeated until satisfactory parts are developed - a process which is long (sometimes in excess of 1 year) and extremely labor intensive (and therefore expensive). Fortunately, the use of finite-element analysis (FEA) can greatly reduce the concept-to-validation time by incorporating much of the prototype and impact evaluations into computer simulations. This paper describes both the correlation and validation of an FEA-based program to physical free-motion head-form testing and the predictive value of this work.
Technical Paper

Estimation of Lateral Rail Loads Incurred During Pendulum Impacts

1993-03-01
930536
A technique for estimating the lateral loads exerted on the vehicle frame during centerline pendulum impacts has been developed. These loads can either be determined by sophisticated hand calculations or by using beam finite-element analysis. The loads can either be determined as a fraction of the peak impact load, or as an absolute number. The dependence of the lateral load on frame stiffness, bumper cross-section, and bumper sweep will be shown to be quite dramatic.
Technical Paper

CAE Processing Analysis of Plastic Fenders

1992-09-01
922116
Engineering thermoplastics are being used increasingly in automotive exterior body applications; most of these applications require that the panels be painted “on line” with the rest of the car body at relatively high temperatures. The high temperatures associated with the painting/conditioning of the car have been shown to cause dimensional stability problems on automotive fenders molded from NORYL GTX®. This paper contains the results of an extensive FEA investigation targeted at determining what factors cause dimensional problems in fenders exposed to high heat. The ABAQUS FEA software was used to perform computer simulations of the process and the C-PACK/W software was used to determine molded in stress values.
Technical Paper

Failure Analysis of Terminal Pullout in Automotive Connectors

1991-02-01
910880
The high costs of prototyping, revisions, and production tooling, with a higher emphasis on quality, concurrent with demands for miniaturization, higher-density packaging, stricter performance, and a shortened product development cycle, have led to the development of advanced analysis techniques that address the performance issues associated with failure prevention in automotive connectors. Because of the complex material and geometric nonlinearity demands in performance, traditional calculations are inadequate, and new methods, utilizing finite element analysis techniques were developed. These highly specialized analysis techniques will enable the designer and engineer to predict connector performance with a high degree of confidence. Concurrent with concept designs, structural analyses (in the areas of assembly, disassembly, and terminal retention) must be done prior to design release.
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