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Technical Paper

A McPherson lightweight suspension arm

The paper deals with the design and manufacturing of a McPherson suspension arm made from PA66 with short glass fiber reinforcement. The design of the arm and the design of the molds have been made jointly. According to Industry 4.0 paradigms, a full digitalization of both the product and process has been performed. Since the mechanical behavior of the suspension arm strongly depends on constraints which are difficult to be modelled, a simpler structure with well-defined mechanical constraints has been developed. By means of such simple structure, the behavior of the material has been highlighted. Since the suspension arm is an hybrid structure, the associated simple structure is hybrid as well, featuring a metal sheet on which plastic is injected. The issues referring to material flow, material to material contact, seams welding, fatigue strength, high and low temperature behavior, creep, dynamic strength have been investigated on the simple structure.
Technical Paper

Tempered Wire Fatigue Testing

A new bench for the rotating bending fatigue tests of tempered steel wires is presented. The new bench is used to check the spring wire just before it is finally winded to realize a spring. The bench is basically a four-point bending machine. There are two main differences with respect to current bending machines. The first one is that the focus is on semi-finished components (more than 1 meter long), rather than standard small-scale specimens. The second one is that there is a non-linear configuration of the tested component due to its length. The bench design has provided some unreferenced features that make the bench quite accurate and effective in producing quick fatigue assessments. A rotor-dynamic study has allowed to perform tests at 50 Hz. As a preliminary application, some fatigue bending tests of tempered steel wires are described and discussed.
Technical Paper

Lightweight Design and Construction of Aluminum Wheels

In this paper the lightweight design and construction of road vehicle aluminum wheels is dealt with, referring particularly to safety. Dedicated experimental tests aimed at assessing the fatigue life behavior of aluminum alloy A356 - T6 have been performed. Cylindrical specimens have been extracted from three different locations in the wheel. Fully reversed strain-controlled and load-controlled fatigue tests have been performed and the stress/strain-life curves on the three areas of the wheel have been computed and compared. The constant amplitude rotary bending fatigue test of the wheel has been simulated by means of Finite Element method. The FE model has been validated by measuring the strain at several points of the wheel during the actual test. From the FE model, the stress tensor time history on the whole wheel over a loading cycle has been extracted.
Technical Paper

Lightweight Seat Design and Crash Simulations

The lightweight seat of a high performance car is designed taking into account a rear impact, i.e. the crash due to an impulse applied from the rear. The basic parameters of the seat structure are derived resorting to simulations of a crash with a test dummy positioned on the seat. The simulations provide the forces acting at the seat structure, in particular the forces applied at the joint between the seat cushion and the seat backrest are taken into account. Such a joint is simulated as a plastic hinge and dissipates some of the crash energy. The simulations are validated by means of indoor tests with satisfactory results. A tool has been developed for the preliminary design of lightweight seats for high performance cars.
Journal Article

Race Motorcycle Smart Wheel

A wheel able to measure the generalized forces at the hub of a race motorcycle has been developed and used. The wheel has a very limited mass. It is made from magnesium with a special structure to sense the forces and provide the required level of stiffness. The wheel has been tested both indoor for preliminary approval and on the track. The three forces and the three moments acting at the hub can be measured with a resolution of 1N and 0.3Nm respectively. A specifically programmed DSP (Digital Signal Processor) embedded in the sensor allows real-time acquisition and processing of the six signals of forces/torques components. The signals are sent via Bluetooth to an onboard receiver connected to the vehicle CAN (Controller Area Network) bus. Each signal is sampled at 200Hz. The wheel can be used to derive the actual tyre characteristics or to record the loads acting at the hub.