Peculiarly complex in its cellular structure, wood is subject to a deformation that accompanies changes in its moisture content that is neither uniform nor isometric. Deformation is generally about 50 times as great in the radial direction of the log as longitudinally and about twice as great circumferentially as radially; so, when moisture changes occur due to changes in the degree of humidity of the surrounding air, the behavior of wood is very uncertain. Conditions are complicated further by the manner in which drying takes place. A description is given of how water is contained in wood, including details of wood structure, and the action of moisture in causing swelling and subsequent shrinking is discussed. The fiber-saturation point marks the limit of the amount of moisture that can enter between the fibrils, at which limit swelling ceases. It is determined by making endwise compression tests on a series of small blocks of the wood, as its drying proceeds.
Transportation by motorbus, although of recent origin, has advanced rapidly in its development but is still undergoing a process of evolution. Less than 10 years ago, motor carriers were mostly “jitneys” and were heartily disliked by electric-railway officials. Now, motorbuses are developing a field of their own and are rendering a service not supplied by any other transportation agency, two of their most valuable functions being the building up of new territory and acting as feeders to established lines in the more thickly settled areas. The first steps in their development took place while engaged in local service, but the trend toward interurban business soon became manifest. In California, within the last 10 years, the interurban business has increased from that of a few isolated individuals to the operating of approximately 1000 vehicles, which cover the entire State and, in 1923, carried about 25,000,000 passengers.
Classes of service already provided by the street-car and the passenger automobile influence the expectations of the motorbus passenger regarding the quality of transportation service afforded by the motorbus. If an operator persuades people to ride in his motorbuses, it will be because they offer safety, economy, convenience and comfort to a greater degree than that offered by competitive transportation media. Since the public has demonstrated that, under favorable conditions, it will patronize the motorbus to an extent that yields a profit to the operators, the future success of this means of transportation lies wholly within the control of the motorbus builders and those who operate it. Of the factors that determine the degree of success attained, motorbus-body design bulks very large. Discussion of the subject is presented from the viewpoint of the passenger, as the motorbus approaches him, as he enters it and as he judges the quality of transportation it affords.
A good air-cleaner is an essential part of automotive engine equipment. Many types of cleaner are on the market and the user must choose on the basis of the three essential requirements of maximum cleaning efficiency, minimum attention from the operator and minimum power-loss. With respect to these three essentials, the development of a laboratory method of testing air-cleaners starts with the premise that the test for efficiency should consist of feeding in a weighed quantity of dust, and an account be made for that which is not separated by the cleaner. The first method was to insert a white outing-flannel cloth in the airstream from the cleaner. The varied degrees of soiling of the cloths from different cleaners were a relative measure of their efficiency. This method was found unsatisfactory for several reasons. An attempt was made to use a dry centrifugal cleaner of predetermined efficiency, in series with the cleaner under test, to catch a portion of the dust escaping.
The ascertaining of the factors that determine the riding-qualities of automobiles and the methods employed in studying these factors and the lines along which research should be directed in an effort to improve riding conditions are proposed in this paper with a view to encouraging further helpful discussion of the riding-qualities problem. Relative to the first of these questions, the factors treated in this paper comprise (a) road characteristics with respect to the vehicle; (b) the vertical, the longitudinal and the transverse motions of an automobile, as well as small vibrations or oscillations of high frequency; (c) vehicle characteristics, such as springing, accessory control, tires, wheels, chassis frame, seating, body, engine and transmission, steering-gear, brakes, heating, ventilating and lighting.
Trouble with the exhaust-valves of the Type-J air-cooled cylinder caused an investigation to be made of valve-cooling and of valve and guide wear. A temperature of 1300 deg. fahr. invariably caused fractures of the exhaust-valve stem at the junction of the stem and the neck. A file-hard tungsten-steel valve with a shallow hole and no filling eliminated breakage but scaling was apparent. The same valve, using a hard tungsten-steel guide, when tested with salt filling, gave improved cooling; the area of the hot zone was reduced in size and the stem remained dead-black. Scaling was reduced and the wear of the valve-stem and guide that appeared was overcome by substituting a roller tappet for the solid tappet previously used. Tests showed that extreme hardness is of advantage even for inlet-valves. Experiments with a Type-K air-cooled cylinder gave excellent results with a salt-cooled valve in spite of a very high head-temperature; with an unfilled valve the results were not so good.
References are made to published results of similar tests of air-cleaner devices conducted in 1922, and the scope of the 1924 tests is described. Road tests of air-cleaners were carried out and the tabulated data are presented. Efforts were made to find out how much dust the engine would draw in if the cleaner and connections were removed and to catch and weigh the dust the air-cleaner under test failed to catch. Dust was raised by a car running about 50 ft. ahead of the test-car and, to produce heavy dust-conditions, the road was dragged with a chain attached to the car and forming a loop behind it. The leading drivers maintained as nearly as possible a constant speed of 25 m.p.h. and chose the dustiest part of the road, following the same course on all the rounds.
It is generally recognized that the dilution of crankcase-oil with water and unburned fuel tends to accelerate the wear of engine bearings, cylinders and pistons. The author traces the engineering development of a rectifying device and system designed to combat this problem. In this system, diluted oil that tends to work-up past the pistons, in company with the water vapor and unburned fuel that tend to work down into the crankcase, is drawn from the cylinder-walls and pistons by vacuum. This diluted oil is conducted into a still or rectifier where it is subjected to heat from the engine exhaust. The heating action is just sufficient to volatilize the fuel and water, the resulting vapor being returned to the intake-manifold and thence to the engine where it is burned. The lubricating oil that remains behind is conducted back into the crankcase. The system functions automatically.
Describing the three ways in which water may reach the oil-pan, the author says that the danger-point for water accumulation is reached when an emulsion becomes too highly viscous or when an accumulation of free water reaches the pump intake. The effect of using an emulsifying oil is explained and consideration is given the quantities of water actually deposited because of cylinder-wall condensation. An emulsion of oil with water up to 5 or 6 per cent differs hardly at all from the pure oil so far as film-forming and lubricating qualities are concerned. On the other hand, with an oil that is absolutely non-emulsifying, the tendency is for the water to segregate and collect in comparatively large globules. The ability of an oil to absorb a small percentage of water has the advantages of minimizing the danger of complete failure of oil circulation when starting in cold weather and of reducing somewhat the rate of piston-ring and cylinder-wall wear.
An independent study of a similar nature to that made by the Bureau of Standards on fuels in 1923 was conducted by the company the author represents, and the paper presents first the results of the tests made on five 7½-ton trucks during the regular course of business deliveries. Curves plotted from the data thus obtained are presented and analyzed in considerable detail. These data were then utilized as a basis for a series of dynamometer experiments in an attempt to explain further the effects of the many temperature and mechanical variables on the rate of oil consumption and oil dilution when only one factor was allowed to vary at a time. The dynamometer apparatus and the engine used are described, together with the test routine, and an analysis is made of the result of wear of the test engine. The “standard” conditions under which the test runs were made are stated.
This paper deals with progress in the Cooperative Fuel Research since the last report was presented to this Society. Previous tests had shown that the temperature of the jacket water exerted a major influence on the rate of dilution of crankcase oil. The reason for this influence was investigated and it was concluded that it was due to differences in the rate at which diluent was added to or eliminated from the oil-film upon the cylinder-walls, the temperature of this film being dependent upon the temperature of the jacket water. Experiments failed to show that changes in the temperature of the piston head or changes in the viscosity of the oil upon the cylinder-walls exerted a major influence upon the rate of dilution. These conditions were investigated as being probable consequences of a change in the temperature of the jacket water. Evidence is presented which demonstrates that under certain conditions the diluent may be eliminated from the oil at a fairly rapid rate.
In this investigation to determine strength and physical properties 12 motor-truck rear-wheels were tested, comprising two each of the following types: Class-B trucks, standard wood; Class-B truck, cast-steel; I-beam type; steel disc; aluminum; and rubber-cushion, each having a 34-in. diameter and a 12-in. tread. The wood, the I-beam and the cushion wheels each had 14 spokes; the aluminum and the steel-disc wheels had a solid web between the hub and the rim. All the wheels were tested without tires or brake-bands, were bushed to fit a 4-in. axle and the area of contact between the hub and the bushing was the same as that in service. Illustrations show the construction of the wheels. Requirements considered essential in a wheel were listed, and the tests were conducted to obtain data concerning them. One wheel of each type was subjected to a radial-compression test.
A bumper is a bar attached transversely in front of or behind a car body to prevent contact between an obstruction and the car body or to cushion the shock of collision between vehicles. The impact-bars have various sectional forms, from flat to round and from tubes to channels, and are composed of steel, wood or rubberized fabric. The attaching devices are sometimes yielding, sometimes rigid. The evolution of the bumper is shown in the records of the Patent Office. Early types had yielding attaching-parts and rigid impact-parts. These were followed by types having a rigid bar connected with the frame by only a spiral spring, by those having channel-steel impact-bars and others having round spring-steel extending from the frame-horns. A strip of rectangular spring-steel was then used by a Western blacksmith, and later a similar non-reinforced bumper appeared which was cut in two in the middle, the ends being overlapped and the overlapped parts clamped together.
Tendencies of the industry toward lower costs have been reflected in axle design. Large-volume business has made it worthwhile to introduce changes in the design of passenger-car and light-truck axles to increase production economy and improve design. For heavy trucks, the trend has been to keep costs down by making no changes that would involve added expense for tools, jigs, dies and fixtures. Front-wheel brakes for passenger cars have resulted in changing front-axle I-beam sections and front-spring design to take care of the increased stresses such brakes introduce. In the design of rear axles for passenger cars, no fundamental change has occurred, although the change from the full-floating and three-quarter floating types to the semi-floating axle and a change in mounting the bevel pinion are two features that seem to be coming to the fore.
Shimmying was noticeable before four-wheel brakes began to be used, but since that time the trouble has been greatly increased. Two kinds are distinguishable; (a) low-speed shimmying, a violent wabble of the front wheels about the king-pins without a bouncing of the front axle, and (b) high-speed shimmying, a severe bouncing of the front axle during which one hub is up while the other is down. This occurs at somewhat higher tire-pressures and at high car-speed. Believing that both forms are not correctible by changing the design of the tire and are only slightly affected by changes in the steering-gear, efforts were directed toward prevention rather than correction.
Balloon tires have caused the points at which the greatest trouble formerly occurred to be reversed; the greatest wear hitherto has occurred on the rear tires; now it occurs on the front. The carcasses of old tires were heavy and thick and carried a large part of the load; balloon tires are flexible and will support very little load. The air-pressure carries the load and gives greater cushioning effect. Four-ply tires have proved to be the most satisfactory and have none of the disadvantages of high-pressure tires. Balloon tires steer harder than high-pressure tires because of lower air-pressure, which necessitates a greater area of contact. Steering resistance is caused by the load on the tire and the increased area of contact. Many designers, in making the steering gear free to overcome steering resistance, make wheel-twitching possible. Shimmying may be classified as low-speed and high-speed, the latter occurring at speeds between 35 and 40 m.p.h. and being very violent.
An air-spring and a steel-spring combination has a characteristic load-curve that allows maximum flexibility in the general working-range of the axle yet has an increasing resistance to dissipate large shock-loads. By varying the compression volume in the air-spring, the load curve of the combination can be made more flexible or stiffer as occasion demands. Tests show that the steel-spring vibration alone had a duration of 5½ sec. with a period of 87.2 vibrations per min.; the combination, a 3-sec. duration with 60.0 vibrations per min. Field tests of front-axle movement were made, the test apparatus for these and other tests being illustrated and explained. The maximum axle-movement either above or below the normal line is increased when using air-springs, and the subsequent rebound shows more action on the underside of the normal line, the general tendency of the air-springs being to float the chassis on a slightly higher plane at the time of rebound.