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Technical Paper

Digital Image Correlation System Application - Measuring Deformation and Load of Convertible Top Fabric

Strain gages have been widely used for measuring strain or deformation. They are very reliable and accurate. However, for application on fabric material, strain gages have their limitations. In this paper, digital image correlation (DIC) is used to measure the deformation around the rear window on a convertible top. The test needed to be non destructive, the vehicle and convertible top could not be damaged. The deformation or strain measured on the fabric was used to estimate the force experienced at the interface between the glass and the fabric during an opening/closing application. A speckle pattern was created on the convertible fabric where deformation was to be measured with washable paint. The image of the measured area was first recorded. The convertible top was then latched down and the fabric was stretched. A second image was recorded again. Based on the two images, the deformation/strain between the two conditions was measured.
Technical Paper

Development of an Analytical Modeling Method and Testing Procedures to Aid in the Design of Cardan Joints for Front Steerable Beam Axles

The Cardan joint of a steerable beam front axle is a complicated mechanical component. It is subjected to drive torque, speed fluctuations, and joint articulation due to powertrain inputs, steering, and suspension kinematics. This combination of high torque and speed fluctuations of the Cardan joint, due to high input drive torque and/or high steer angle maneuvers, can result in premature joint wear. Initially, some observations of premature wear were not well understood based on the existing laboratory and road test data. The present work summarizes a coordinated program of computer modeling, vehicle Rough Road data acquisition, and physical testing used to predict the joint dynamics and to develop advanced testing procedures. Results indicate analytical modeling can predict forces resulting from Cardan joint dynamics for high torque/high turn angle maneuvers, as represented by time history traces recorded in rough road data acquisition.
Technical Paper

Fuel Tank Strap Fatigue Sensitivity Study under Fuel Level Variation and Payload Variation

Fuel Tank Straps very often get different durability fatigue test results from different types of durability testing such as shaker table vibration, road test simulator (RTS) vehicle testing and proving ground vehicle durability testing. One test produces good durability results and other may indicate some durability risk. A special study was conducted to address this inconsistency. It was found that fuel level in the tank plays a big role in fuel tank strap durability. Higher fuel levels in a tank produce higher loads in straps and lower fatigue life. This paper will use a CAE fuel tank strap model and acquired proving ground strap load data to study fuel level influence in fuel tank strap durability. The fuel level study includes a full tank of fuel, 3 quarters tank of fuel, a half tank of fuel and one quarter tank of fuel.