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Technical Paper

Investigating Collaborative Robot Gripper Configurations for Simple Fabric Pick and Place Tasks

2019-04-02
2019-01-0699
Fiber composite materials are widely used in many industrial applications - specially in automotive, aviation and consumer goods. Introducing light-weighting material solutions to reduce vehicle mass is driving innovative materials research activities as polymer composites offer high specific stiffness and strength compared to contemporary engineering materials. However, there are issues related to high production volume, automation strategies and handling methods. The state of the art for the production of these light-weight flexible textile or composite fiber products is setting up multi-stage manual operations for hand layups. Material handling of flexible textile/fiber components is a process bottleneck. Consequently, the long term research goal is to develop semi-automated pick and place processes for flexible materials utilizing collaborative robots within the process. Collaborative robots allow for interactive human-machine tasks to be conducted.
Technical Paper

A Preliminary Study of the Discharge Current and Spark Energy for the Multi-Coil Offset Strategy

2019-04-02
2019-01-0725
To overcome the unfavorable operation conditions caused by lean/diluted charges in modern Spark Ignited (SI) engines, various advanced ignition systems have been proposed in the past. Among them, the dual-coil and multi-coil Transistor Coil Ignition (TCI) systems with offset discharge strategy caused significant attention in literature because they can generate a continuous spark with high spark energy being delivered into the cylinder. Comparing with the dual-coil system, a multi-coil system is capable to apply more flexible control strategies and generate a higher discharge current. However, the spark energy and transfer efficiency of the multi-coil system are still worthy to investigate as they are important performance indicators for a TCI system. In this paper, the discharge characteristics of the dual-coil and triple-coil strategies under both quiescent and flow conditions were studied firstly by experimental methods.
Technical Paper

Implementation of a Dual Coil Ignition Strategy in a Split-Cycle Engine

2019-04-02
2019-01-0726
A Split-Cycle engine fueled with methane has been constructed and operated at the University of Windsor. A split-cycle engine consists of two interconnected cylinders working together to preform the four engine strokes. Cylinder 1 preforms intake and compression strokes while cylinder 2 is where combustion, expansion and exhaust occur. The connecting high pressure crossover passage is where methane is injected, resulting in a well pre-mixed air-fuel mixture. Transfer occurs to the combustion cylinder near TDC, resulting in intense small scale turbulence that leads to short combustion durations under 30° CA. Short durations are achieved despite low engine speeds of 850-1200 rpm, late combustion phasing and part loads. Of note is the lean limit of operation of the engine at the equivalence ratio Φ = 0.85, which is high compared to other natural gas engines which have limits around Φ = 0.6.
Technical Paper

Effects of Spark Discharge Energy Scheduling on Flame Kernel Formation under Quiescent and Flow Conditions

2019-04-02
2019-01-0727
The breakdown phase is considered to have the highest electric-thermal energy transfer efficiency among all the discharge modes in a conventional spark ignition process. In this study, an external capacitor is connected in parallel with the spark plug in order to enhance the discharge energy and power during the breakdown phase. A constant volume combustion chamber is used to investigate the high power spark discharge under different background pressures and with varied flow velocities. Results show that the added parallel capacitance is effective in redistributing the spark energy. With the increase in parallel capacitance, the breakdown power and energy increase, though at the cost of reduced glow phase energy. The breakdown energy also increases with the increased background pressure. Then combustion tests are carried out to study the effects of the breakdown power enhanced spark on flame propagation under both quiescent and flow conditions via optical diagnosis.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Testing of n-Butanol HCCI on High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

2019-04-02
2019-01-0577
The control of combustion phasing in homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion is investigated with neat n-butanol in this work. HCCI is a commonly researched combustion mode, owing to its improved thermal efficiency over conventional gasoline combustion, as well as its lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter emissions compared to those of diesel combustion. Despite these advantages, HCCI lacks successful widespread implementation with conventional fuels, primarily due to the lack of effective combustion phasing control. In this preliminary study, chemical kinetic simulations are conducted to study the auto-ignition characteristics of n-butanol under varied background pressures, temperatures, and dilution levels using established mechanisms in CHEMKIN software. Increasing the pressure or temperature lead to a shorter ignition delay, whereas increasing the dilution by the application of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) leads to a longer ignition delay.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Near-Spark-Plug Flow Field and Its Effect on Spark Behavior

2019-04-02
2019-01-0718
In the recent decades, the emission and fuel efficiency regulations put forth by the emission regulation agencies have become increasingly stringent and this trend is expected to continue in future. The advanced spark ignition (SI) engines can operate under lean conditions to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. Under such lean conditions, the ignition and complete combustion of the charge mixture is a challenge because of the reduced charge reactivity. Enhancement of the in-cylinder charge motion and turbulence to increase the flame velocity, and consequently reduce the combustion duration is one possible way to improve lean combustion. The role of air motion in better air-fuel mixing and increasing the flame velocity, by enhancing turbulence has been researched extensively. However, during the ignition process, the charge motion can influence the initial spark discharge, resulting flame kernel formation, and flame propagation.
Technical Paper

A Comparison of the Mechanical Performance of AA6061-T6 Extrusions Subjected to Axial Crushing and Axial Cutting

2019-04-02
2019-01-1094
Conventional axially loaded energy absorbers dissipate kinetic energy through progressive folding. The significant fluctuations in load and high risk of transition to global bending are drawbacks that engineers have attempted to mitigate through several methods. A novel energy dissipation mechanism, referred to as axial cutting, utilizes thin-walled extrusions and a strengthened cutting tool to absorb energy in an axial impact. Compared to progressive folding, this can be achieved with minimal fluctuations in load during the deformation process. Based upon estimates from finite element models, a series of test cases were postulated where, for 8 and 10-bladed cutting scenarios, greater total energy absorption could be achieved through axial cutting than with progressive folding of geometrically similar extrusions. The specimens were AA6061 extrusions having T6 temper conditions that possessed 63.5 mm outer diameters and 1.5 mm wall thicknesses.
Technical Paper

An Investigation on the Regeneration of Lean NOx Trap Using Ethanol and n-Butanol

2019-04-02
2019-01-0737
Reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in lean burn and diesel fueled Compression Ignition (CI) engines is one of the major challenges faced by automotive manufacturers. Lean NOx Trap (LNT) and urea-based Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust after-treatment systems are well established technologies to reduce NOx emissions. However, each of these technologies has associated advantages and disadvantages for use over a wide range of engine operating conditions. In order to meet future ultra-low NOx emission norms, the use of both alternative fuels and advanced after-treatment technology may be required. The use of an alcohol fuel such as n-butanol or ethanol in a CI engine can reduce the engine-out NOx and soot emissions. In CI engines using LNTs for NOx reduction, the fuel such as diesel is utilized as a reductant for LNT regeneration.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Low Mileage GPF Filtration and Regeneration as Influenced by Soot Morphology, Reactivity, and GPF Loading

2019-04-02
2019-01-0975
As European and Chinese tailpipe emission regulations for gasoline light-duty vehicles impose particulate number limits, automotive manufacturers have begun equipping some vehicles with a gasoline particulate filter (GPF). Increased understanding of how soot morphology, reactivity, and GPF loading affect GPF filtration and regeneration characteristics is necessary for advancing GPF performance. This study investigates the impacts of morphology, reactivity, and filter soot loading on GPF filtration and regeneration. Soot morphology and reactivity are varied through changes in fuel injection parameters, known to affect soot formation conditions. Changes in morphology and reactivity are confirmed through analysis using a transmission electron microscope (TEM) and a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) respectively.
Technical Paper

Boosted Current Spark Strategy for Lean Burn Spark Ignition Engines

2018-04-03
2018-01-1133
Spark ignition systems with the capability of providing spark event with either higher current level or longer discharge duration has been developed in recent years to help IC engines towards clean combustion with higher efficiency under lean/diluted intake charge. In this research, a boosted current spark strategy was proposed to investigate the effect of spark discharge current level and discharge duration on the combustion process. Firstly, the discharge characteristics of a boosted current spark system were tested with a traditional spark plug under crossflow conditions, and results showed that the spark channel was more stable, and was stretched much longer when the discharge current was boosted. Then the boosted current strategy was used in a spark ignition engine operating under lean conditions. Boosted current was added to the spark channel with different timing, duration, and current levels.
Technical Paper

Ion Current Measurement of Diluted Combustion Using a Multi-Electrode Spark Plug

2018-04-03
2018-01-1134
Close-loop feedback combustion control is essential for improving the internal combustion engines to meet the rigorous fuel efficiency demands and emission legislations. A vital part is the combustion sensing technology that diagnoses in-cylinder combustion information promptly, such as using cylinder pressure sensor and ion current measurement. The promptness and fidelity of the diagnostic are particularly important to the potential success of using intra-cycle control for abnormal cycles such as super knocking and misfiring. Many research studies have demonstrated the use of ion-current sensing as feedback signal to control the spark ignition gasoline engines, with the spark gap shared for both ignition and ion-current detection. During the spark glow phase, the sparking current may affect the combustion ion current signal. Moreover, the electrode gap size is optimized for sparking rather than measurement of ion current.
Technical Paper

A Fuel Sensitive Ignition Delay Model for Direct Injection Diesel Engine Operating under EGR Diluted Conditions

2018-04-03
2018-01-0231
This empirical work investigates the impacts of thermodynamic parameters, such as pressure and temperature, and fuel properties, such as fuel Cetane number and aromatic contents on ignition delay in diesel engines. Systematic tests are conducted on a single-cylinder research engine to evaluate the ignition delay changes due to the fuel property differences at low, medium and high engine loads under different EGR dilution ratios. The test fuels offer a range of Cetane numbers from 28 to 54.2 and aromatic contents volume ratios from 19.4% to 46.6%. The experimental results of ignition delays are used to derive an ignition delay model modified from Arrhenius’ expression. Following the same format of Arrhenius’ equation, the model incorporates the pressure and temperature effects, and further includes the impacts of intake oxygen concentration, fuel Cetane number and aromatic contents volume ratio on the ignition delay.
Technical Paper

Early Pilot Injection Strategies for Reactivity Control in Diesel-ethanol Dual Fuel Combustion

2018-04-03
2018-01-0265
This paper examines the diesel-ethanol dual fuel combustion at medium engine loads on a single-cylinder research diesel engine with a compression ratio of 16.5:1. The effect of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and ethanol energy ratio was investigated for the dual fuel combustion to achieve simultaneously ultra-low NOx and soot emissions. A medium ethanol ratio of about 0.6 was found suitable to meet the requirements for mixing enhancement and ignition control, which resulted in the lowest NOx and soot emissions among the tested ethanol ratios. A double-pilot injection strategy was found competent to lower the pressure rise rate owing to the reduced fuel quantity in the close-to-TDC injection. The advancement of pilot injection timing tended to reduce the CO and THC emissions, which is deemed beneficial for high EGR operations. The reactivity mutual-modulation between the diesel pilot and the background ethanol mixture was identified.
Technical Paper

A Simplified Circuit Model for the Emulation of Glow Phase during Spark Discharge

2018-04-03
2018-01-0092
The ever-growing demand to meet the stringent exhaust emission regulations have driven the development of modern gasoline engines towards lean combustion strategies and downsizing to achieve the reduction of exhaust emission and fuel consumption. Currently, the inductive ignition system is still the dominant ignition system applied in Spark Ignited (SI) engines. It is popular due to its simple design, low cost and robust performance. The new development in spark ignition engines demands higher spark energy to be delivered by the inductive ignition system to overcome the unfavorable ignition conditions caused by the increased and diluted in-cylinder charge. To meet this challenge, better understanding of the inductive ignition system is required. The development of a first principle model for simulation can help in understanding the working mechanism of the system in a better way.
Journal Article

The Effect of Backing Profile on Cutting Blade Wear during High-Volume Production of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Composites

2018-04-03
2018-01-0158
Carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) is an attractive material for automotive lightweighting applications, but several issues present themselves when adapting a process developed for glass fiber composites to instead use carbon fibers. SMC is a discontinuous fiber material, so individual carbon fiber tows must be chopped into uniform rovings before being compounded with the resin matrix. Rotary chopping is one such method for producing rovings, but high wear rates are seen when cutting carbon fibers. Experiments were performed to investigate the wear progression of cutting blades during rotary carbon fiber chopping. A small rotary chopper with a polyurethane (PU) backing and thin, hardened steel blades was used to perform extended wear tests (120,000 chops, or until failure to reliably chop tows) to simulate the lifespan of blades during composite material production.
Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement for Ultra-Lean Dilute Gasoline Combustion

2017-10-08
2017-01-2244
In this work, a spatially distributed spark ignition strategy was employed to improve the ignition process of well-mixed ultra-lean dilute gasoline combustion in a high compression ratio (13.1:1) single cylinder engine at partial loads. The ignition energy was distributed in the perimeter of a 3-pole igniter. It was identified that on the basis of similar total spark energy, the 3-pole ignition mode can significantly shorten the early flame kernel development period and reduce the cyclic variation of combustion phasing, for the spark timing sweep tests at λ 1.5. The effect of ignition energy level on lean-burn operation was investigated at λ 1.6. Within a relatively low ignition energy range, i.e. below 46 mJ per pole, the increase in ignition energy via ether 1 pole or 3 pole can improve the controllability over combustion phasing and reduce the variability of lean burn combustion. Higher ignition energy was required in order to enable ultra-lean engine operation with λ above 1.6.
Technical Paper

Design of As-Cast High Strength Al-Si-Cu-Ni-Sr Alloys Using the Taguchi Method

2017-09-30
2017-01-5009
In the present study, a design of experiment (DOE) technique, the Taguchi method, was used to develop as-cast high strength aluminum alloys with element additions of Si, Cu, Ni and Sr. The Taguchi method uses a special design of orthogonal arrays to study all the designed factors with a minimum of experiments at a relatively low cost. The element factors chosen for this study were Si, Cu, Ni and Sr content in the designed aluminum-based alloys. For each factor, three different levels of weight percentages were selected (Si: 6, 9, 12%, Cu: 3, 5, 7%, Ni: 0.5, 1, 1.5% and Sr: 0.01, 0.02, 0.03%). Tensile properties such as ultimate tensile strength, yield strength and elongation at failure were selected as three individual responses to evaluate the engineering performance of the designed alloys. The results of the factor response analysis were used to derive the optimal level combinations.
Technical Paper

Wear of D2 Tool Steel Dies during Trimming DP980-type Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) for Automotive Parts

2017-03-28
2017-01-1706
Automobile body panels made from advanced high strength steel (AHSS) provide high strength-to-mass ratio and thus AHSS are important for automotive light-weighting strategy. However, in order to increase their use, the significant wear damage that AHSS sheets cause to the trim dies should be reduced. The wear of dies has undesirable consequences including deterioration of trimmed parts' edges. In this research, die wear measurement techniques that consisted of white-light optical interferometry methods supported by large depth-of-field optical microscopy were developed. 1.4 mm-thick DP980-type AHSS sheets were trimmed using dies made from AISI D2 steel. A clearance of 10% of the thickness of the sheets was maintained between the upper and lower dies. The wear of the upper and lower dies was evaluated and material abrasion and chipping were identified as the main damage features at the trim edges.
Technical Paper

A Review of Human Physiological, Psychological & Human Biomechanical Factors on Perceived Thermal Comfort of Automotive Seats.

2017-03-28
2017-01-1388
Thermal comfort in automotive seating has been studied and discussed for a long time. The available research, because it is focused on the components, has not produced a model that provides insight into the human-seat system interaction. This work, which represents the beginning of an extensive research program, aims to establish the foundation for such a model. This paper will discuss the key physiological, psychological, and biomechanical factors related to perceptions of thermal comfort in automotive seats. The methodology to establish perceived thermal comfort requirements will also be presented and discussed.
Technical Paper

Modular Design and Methods to Optimize Seat Complete Assemblies

2017-03-28
2017-01-1309
Modularity in product architecture and its significance in product development have become an important product design topics in the last few decades. Several Product Modularity definitions and methodologies were developed by many researchers; however, most of the definitions and concepts have proliferated to the extent that it is difficult to apply one universal definition for modular product architecture and in product development. Automotive seat modular strategy and key factors for consideration towards modular seat design and assemblies are the main focus of this work. The primary objectives are focused on the most “natural segmentation” of the seat elements (i.e., cushions, backs, trims, plastics, head restraints, etc.) to enable the greatest ease of final assembly and greatest flexibility for scalable feature offerings around common assembly “hard-points.”
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