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Technical Paper

Modular Design and Methods to Optimize Seat Complete Assemblies

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.”
Technical Paper

Load and Lubricating Oil Effects on Friction of a PEO Coating at Different Sliding Velocities

Friction between the piston and cylinder accounts for large amount of the friction losses in an internal combustion (IC) engine. Therefore, any effort to minimize such a friction will also result in higher efficiency, lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) coating is considered as a hard ceramic coating which can provide a dimpled surface for oil retention to bear the wear and reduce the friction from sliding piston rings. In this work, a high speed pin-on-disc tribometer was used to generate the boundary, mixed and hydrodynamic lubrication regimes. Five different lubricating oils and two different loads were applied to do the tribotests and the COFs of a PEO coating were studied. The results show that the PEO coating indeed had a lower COF in a lower viscosity lubricating oil, and a smaller load was beneficial to form the mixed and hydrodynamic lubricating regimes earlier.
Technical Paper

Defect Classification of Adhesively Bonded Joints Using Pulse-Echo Ultrasonic Testing in Automotive Industries

Amid all nondestructive testing (NDT) methods Ultrasound is considered the most practically feasible modality for quality assessment and detection of defects in automobile industry. Pattern recognition of the ultrasonic signals gives us important information about the interrogated object. This information includes size, geometric shape and location of the defect zone. However, this would not be straightforward to extract this information from the backscattered echoes due to the overlapping signals and also the presence of noise. Here in this study, we suggest a new method for classification of different defects in inspection of adhesively bonded joint. At the first step of this method, the problem of parameter estimation of the reflected echoes is defined in a Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) framework. Then a space alternating generalized Expectation Maximization (SAGE) algorithm is implemented to solve the MLE problem.
Technical Paper

Surface Effect of a PEO Coating on Friction at Different Sliding Velocities

In order to reduce the weight of an automotive engine, an aluminum (Al) alloy engine block with cast iron liner has been successfully used to replace the gray cast iron engine. For newly emerging Al linerless engine in which the low surface hardness of the aluminum alloy has to be overcome, a few surface processing technologies are used to protect the surface of cylinders. Among them, plasma transferred wire arc (PTWA) thermal spraying coating is becoming popular. Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) coating is also proposed for increasing the wear resistance of aluminum alloy and reducing the friction between the cylinder and piston. In this work, a PEO coating with a thickness of ∼20 μm was prepared, and a high speed pin-on-disc tribometer was used to study the tribological behavior of the coating at oil lubricant conditions. Different surface roughness of the coating and a large range of the sliding speeds were employed for the tests.
Technical Paper

Effect of Surface Roughness and Sliding Velocity on Tribological Properties of an Oxide-Coated Aluminum Alloy

Aluminum engines have been successfully used to replace heavy gray cast engines to lighten the car's weight and reduce the fuel consumption. To overcome the aluminum alloys' poor wear resistance, cast iron liners and thermal spraying coatings were used as cylinder bore materials for wear protection. A plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) technique had also been proposed to produce an oxide coating on aluminum cylinder bore. The oxide coating can have a low coefficient of friction (COF) and minimum wear shown in the lab tests. To conserve more fuel, the stopping and restarting system was introduced when the vehicle was forced to stop immediately for a short time. When the engine was forced to stop and restart, the reciprocating speed of the piston was very slow, and the friction between the piston and the cylinder was high. In this research, a pin-on-disc tribometer was used to investigate tribological behavior of the oxide coating on an aluminum alloy.
Technical Paper

Roof Strength Requirement for Vehicles Involved in Rollover Crash

Rollover crash is one of the most serious safety problems for light weight vehicles. In the USA, rollover crashes account for almost one-third of all occupant fatalities in light weight vehicles. Similar statistics are found for other countries. Thus, rollover crashes have received significant attention in recent years. In the USA and Canada, automotive manufacturers are required to comply with the roof strength requirement of “1.5 times the unloaded vehicle weight” to ensure safety in rollover. NHTSA is currently considering a set of countermeasures to improve the rollover safety, where one of the proposals is to increase the roof strength limit to “2.5 times the unloaded vehicle weight”. This increased roof strength limit seemingly has been motivated based on the benchmark study of current vehicle fleet.