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Technical Paper

Development of Plastic Region Tightening 1.6-GPa Ultra-High Strength Bolt with High Delayed Fracture Resistance

A new variable compression turbo (VC-Turbo) engine, which has a multi-link system for controlling the compression ratio from 8:1 to 14:1, requires high axial force for fastening the multi-links because of high input loads and the downsizing requirement. Therefore, it was necessary to develop a 1.6-GPa tensile strength bolt with plastic region tightening. One of the biggest technical concerns is delayed fracture. In this study, quenched and tempered alloy steels were chosen for the 1.6-GPa tensile strength bolt.
Technical Paper

Application of 980 MPa Grade Advanced High Strength Steel with High Formability

There are strong demands for vehicle weight reductions so as to improve fuel economy. At the same time, it is also necessary to ensure crash safety. One effective measure for accomplishing such both requirements conflicting each other is to apply advanced high strength steel (AHSS) of 780 MPa grade or higher to the vehicle body. On the other hand, higher strength steels generally tend to display lower elongation causing formability deterioration. Nissan Motor Corporation have jointly developed with steel manufacturers a new 980 MPa grade AHSS with high formability with the aim of substituting it for the currently used 590 MPa grade high-tensile steel. Several application technologies have been developed through the verifications such as formability, resistance spot weldability, crashworthiness, and delayed fracture.
Technical Paper

Development of the Aerodynamics of the New Nissan Murano

The new Murano was developed with special emphasis on improving aerodynamics in order to achieve fuel economy superior to that of competitor models. This paper describes the measures developed to attain a drag coefficient (CD) that is overwhelmingly lower than that of other similar models. Special attention was paid to optimizing the rear end shape so as to minimize rear end drag, which contributes markedly to the CD of sport utility vehicles (SUVs). A lower grille shutter was adopted from the early stage of the development process. When open, the shutter allows sufficient inward airflow to ensure satisfactory engine cooling; when closed, the blocked airflow is actively directed upward over the body. The final rear end shape was tuned so as to obtain the maximum aerodynamic benefit from this airflow. In addition, a large front spoiler was adopted to suppress airflow toward the underbody as much as possible.
Journal Article

Advanced Technology for Dry Multi-Plate Clutch in FWD HEV Transmission (JATCO CVT8 HYBRID)

There has been a growing need in recent years to further improve vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. JATCO began mass production of a transmission for rear-wheel-drive (RWD) hybrid vehicle with Nissan in 2010, which was followed by the development of a front-wheel-drive (FWD) hybrid system (JATCO CVT8 HYBRID) for use on a midsize SUV in the U.S. market. While various types of hybrid systems have been proposed, the FWD system adopts a one-motor two-clutch parallel hybrid topology which is also used on the RWD hybrid. This high-efficiency system incorporates a clutch for decoupling the transmission of power between the engine and the motor. The hybrid system was substantially downsized from that used on the RWD vehicle in order to mount it on the FWD vehicle. This paper describes various seal technologies developed for housing the dry multi-plate clutch inside the motor, which was a key packaging technology for achieving the FWD hybrid system.
Technical Paper

Development of GF-5 0W-20 Fuel-Saving Engine Oil for DLC-Coated Valve Lifters

A suitable GF-5 engine oil formulation is investigated to improve the fuel economy of gasoline engines with hydrogen-free DLC-coated valve lifters. Molybdenum dithocarbamate (MoDTC) is shown to be a suitable friction modifier for low viscosity grade engine oils like 0W-20. A suitable Ca salicylate detergent is also determined from several types examined for maximizing the friction reduction effects of MoDTC. The most suitable Ca salicylate has a chemical structure capable of forming a borophosphate glass film on metal surfaces, which is known to improve the effects of MoDTC. A high viscosity index Group III base oil (VI>140) is also effective in improving fuel efficiency. It is further clarified that the structural design of the polymethacrylate viscosity modifier is another important factor in reducing engine friction.
Journal Article

Analysis of Oil Film Generation on the Main Journal Bearing Using a Thin-Film Sensor and Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication (EHL) Model

Reducing friction in the crankshaft main bearings is an effective means of improving the fuel efficiency of reciprocating internal combustion engines. To realize these improvements, it is necessary to understand the lubricating conditions, in particular the oil film pressure distributions between crankshaft and bearings. In this study, we developed a thin-film pressure sensor and applied it to the measurement of engine main bearing oil film pressure in a 4-cylinder, 2.5 L gasoline engine. This thin-film sensor is applied directly to the bearing surface by sputtering, allowing for measurement of oil film pressure without changing the shape and rigidity of the bearing. Moreover, the sensor material and shape were optimized to minimize influence from strain and temperature on the oil film pressure measurement. Measurements were performed at the No. 2 and 5 main bearings.
Technical Paper


An electric vehicle (EV) is promising as clean energy powered vehicle, due to increased interest in fuel economy and environment in recent years. However, it requires to meet unique safety performance such as electric safety. Nissan has developed a new electric vehicle which achieves electric safety in addition to maintaining enough cruising distance and cabin space. This was achieved by I he development of an all-new platform for electric vehicles. The electric safety was enhanced by the protection of high-voltage components based on consideration of component layout and body structure, high-voltage shutdown by impact sensing system and prevention of short circuit by fuse in the battery. As an example of the protection of high-voltage components, the battery which locates under the floor was protected by elaborative packaging and multi-layer protection structure.
Technical Paper

Low-cost FC Stack Concept with Increased Power Density and Simplified Configuration: Utilizing an Advanced MEA with Integrated Molded Frame

In 2006, Nissan began limited leasing of the X-TRAIL FCV equipped with their in-house developed Fuel Cell (FC) stack. Since then, the FC stack has been improved in durability, cold start-up capability, cost and size with the aim of promoting full-scale commercialization of FCVs. However, reduction of cost and size has remained a significant challenge because limited mass transport through the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) has made it difficult to increase the rated current density of the FC. Furthermore, it has been difficult to reduce the variety of FC stack components due to the complex stack configuration. In this study, improvements have been achieved mainly by adopting an advanced MEA to overcome these difficulties. First, the adoption of a new MEA and separators has improved mass transport through the MEA for increased rated current density. Second, an integrated molded frame (IMF) has been adopted as the MEA support.
Technical Paper

Application of CAP to Analyze Mechanisms Producing Dummy Injury Readings under U.S. Side Impact Test Conditions

Evaluations of dummy injury readings obtained in regulatory crash tests and new car assessment program tests provide indices for the development of crash safety performance in the process of developing new vehicles. Based on these indices, vehicle body structures and occupant restraint systems are designed to meet the required occupant injury criteria. There are many types of regulatory tests and new car assessment program tests that are conducted to evaluate vehicle safety performance in side impacts. Factoring all of the multiple test configurations into the development of new vehicles requires advanced design capabilities based on a good understanding of the mechanisms producing dummy injury readings. In recent years, advances in computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools and computer processing power have made it possible to run simulations of occupant restraint systems such as side airbags and seatbelts.
Journal Article

Low-Cost FC Stack Concept with Increased Power Density and Simplified Configuration Utilizing an Advanced MEA

In 2006, Nissan began limited leasing of the X-TRAIL FCV equipped with their in-house developed Fuel Cell (FC) stack. Since then, the FC stack has been improved in cost, size, durability and cold start-up capability with the aim of promoting full-scale commercialization of FCVs. However, reduction of cost and size has remained a significant challenge because limited mass transport through the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) has made it difficult to increase the rated current density of the FC. Furthermore, it has been difficult to reduce the variety of FC stack components due to the complex stack configuration. In this study, improvements have been achieved mainly by adopting an advanced MEA to overcome these difficulties. First, the adoption of a new MEA and separators has improved mass transport through the MEA for increased rated current density. Second, an integrated molded frame (IMF) has been adopted as the MEA support.
Technical Paper

Development of High Response Motor and Inverter System for the Nissan LEAF Electric Vehicle

This paper describes the motor and inverter system developed for the Nissan LEAF that has been specifically designed as a mass-produced electric vehicle. The system produces maximum torque of 280 Nm and maximum power of 80 kW. The motor achieves a small size, high power, and high efficiency as a result of adopting the following in-house technologies. The magnetic circuit design was optimized for an interior magnet synchronous motor to attain the maximum performance figures noted here. The material technologies of the rotor and the stator facilitate high efficiency and the production technology achieves high density winding. The cooling mechanism is optimally designed for a mass-produced electric vehicle. The inverter incorporates the following original technologies and application-specific parts to obtain cost reductions combined with reliability improvements. The power module has an original structure with the power devices mounted directly on the busbars.
Technical Paper

Development of a New 5.6 L V8 Gasoline Engine

This paper describes the new VK56VD engine, which was developed in response to growing demand for cleaner automobiles, better fuel economy, and improved engine performance. A 5.6 L V8 engine, the VK56VD will go into the new Infiniti M56 premium sport luxury sedan. To boost power and efficiency and lessen its environmental impact, this engine will utilize key technologies such as Continuous Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) and Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG). Details of the VK56VD are presented here along with highlights of the applied technologies and the development means.
Technical Paper

A Lubrication Analysis of Multi Link VCR Engine Components using a Mixed Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication Theory Model

Research is under way on an engine system [1] that achieves a variable compression ratio using a multiple-link mechanism between the crankshaft and pistons for the dual purpose of improving fuel economy and power output. At present, there is no database that allows direct judgment of the feasibility of the specific sliding parts in this mechanism. In this paper, the feasibility was examined by making a comparison with the sliding characteristics and material properties of conventional engine parts, for which databases exist, and using evaluation parameters based on mixed elasto-hydrodynamic (EHD) lubrication calculations. In addition, the innovations made to the mixed EHD calculation method used in this study to facilitate calculations under various lubrication conditions are also explained, including the treatment of surface roughness, wear progress and stiffness around the bearings.
Journal Article

Dissimilar Joining of Aluminum Alloy and Steel by Resistance Spot Welding

This study concerns a dissimilar materials joining technique for aluminum (Al) alloys and steel for the purpose of reducing the vehicle body weight. The tough oxide layer on the Al alloy surface and the ability to control the Fe-Al intermetallic compound (IMC) thickness are issues that have so far complicated the joining of Al alloys and steel. Removing the oxide layer has required a high heat input, resulting in the formation of a thick Fe-Al IMC layer at the joint interface, making it impossible to obtain satisfactory joint strength. To avoid that problem, we propose a unique joining concept that removes the oxide layer at low temperature by using the eutectic reaction between Al in the Al alloy and zinc (Zn) in the coating on galvanized steel (GI) and galvannealed steel (GA). This makes it possible to form a thin, uniform Fe-Al IMC layer at the joint interface. Welded joints of dissimilar materials require anticorrosion performance against electrochemical corrosion.
Technical Paper

High Throughput Computation of Optical Flow with a High Frame-Rate Camera

This paper presents a new method for calculating optical flow using data from a high frame-rate camera. We focused on a feature of image data captured with a high frame-rate camera in which objects do not move more than one pixel between successive frames. This approach eliminates repetitive processing for object identification among frames taken at different sampling times. High-speed processing hardware architecture was designed with sequential processing only, and the algorithm was implemented in a field programmable gate array. The resultant unit can calculate optical flow for a 640×120 pixel size image with a 480-Hz processing cycle and 0.5-μsec processing latency.
Technical Paper

Spot-weld Layout Optimization for Body Stiffness by Topology Optimization

In general, the improvement of vehicle body stiffness involves a trade-off with the body weight. The objective of this research is to derive the lightest-weight solution from the original vehicle model by finding the optimized spot-weld layout and body panel thickness, while keeping the body stiffness and number of spot welds constant. As the first step, a method of deriving the optimal layout of spot welds for maximizing body stiffness was developed by applying the topology optimization method. While this method is generally used in shape optimization of continuous solid structures, it was applied to discontinuous spot-weld positions in this work. As a result, the effect of the spot-weld layout on body stiffness was clarified. In the case of the body used for this research, body stiffness was improved by about 10% with respect to torsion and vertical and lateral bending.
Technical Paper

Feasibility Study of a New Optimization Technique for the Vehicle Body Structure in the Initial Phase of the Design Process

This paper proposes a new hierarchical optimization technique for the vehicle body structure, by combining topology optimization and shape optimization based on the traction method. With the proposed approach, topology optimization is first performed on the overall allowable design domain in 3D. The surface is extracted from the optimization result and converted to a thin shell structure. Shape optimization based on the traction method is then applied to obtain an overall optimal body shape. In the shape optimization process, iterative calculations are performed in the course of consolidating parts by deleting those whose contribution is small. The result obtained by applying this method to the front frame structure of a vehicle is explained. The resultant optimal shape has stiffness greater than or equal to the original structure and is 35% lighter. This confirms the validity of the proposed technique. It was found, however, that some issues remain to be addressed.
Technical Paper

Application Development of Low Carbon Type Dual Phase 980MPa High Strength Steel

Use of high strength steel (HSS) could be an important consideration in achieving competitive weight and safety performance of the body-in-white (BIW). This study covers key technical issues in the application development. Many aspects were studied such as formability, weldability and impact strength for application of this grade to the BIW. One of the key issues is spot weldability, especially in the assembly of heavy gauge materials for structural parts. The spot weld strength appears not to satisfy the target for some HSS applications, when hardness of the nugget is high. The relation between weld strength and the chemical composition of steel sheets was studied, because hardness can be controlled by chemical composition and welding conditions. It was found that using lower carbon content or carbon equivalent compared to conventional grades could improve weld strength.
Technical Paper

Improvement of the High Rigidity Power-Roller Support Structure in a Half-Toroidal CVT

This paper describes the improvement made to the high rigidity power-roller support structure in a dual-cavity half-toroidal CVT to further increase torque capacity. As a result of re-analyzing the function and parts composition of the previous structure, a high rigidity power-roller support structure, which permits power roller movement only in the horizontal direction, has been adopted. This structure enables the thrust and radial stiffness of the power-roller support to be substantially improved over the previous structure.
Technical Paper

A Study of Car Body Structure to Reduce Environmental Burdens

In the initial design stage, it is important to discuss what kind of body concept is effective from a viewpoint of environment burden reduction. This paper describes the importance of both weight reduction and recycling through conducting LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) for four kinds of body structures. In addition, using each software, DFMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly), DFE (Design for Environment) and LCA to parts unit, each effectiveness was discussed through the assessment of the material-hybrid body.