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Technical Paper

Ford “S” Frame

Since statistics indicate that front impact is the major accident type, Ford has been studying energy-absorbing structures for some time. Early designs such as the “ball and tube” and “rail splitter” were discarded in favor of the “S” frame. Details of the design approach and testing are given in this paper. Design objectives were increased effective collapse distance, compatibility with production practices, and maintenance of satisfactory noise, vibration, and harshness levels. Safety objectives are improved passenger compartment integrity and reduction of seat belt loads. Barrier crash tests at 30 mph (equivalent to collision into standing vehicle at 50 mph) were used to evaluate the design of the “S” frame. Results of testing indicate that occupant restraint with seat belts, combined with front end structural improvements, offer the most promise for injury reduction during service front impact accidents.
Technical Paper

Recent Developments in Penetration Resistance of Windshield Glass

A twofold improvement in penetration resistance of laminated safety glass for use in vehicle windshields has been achieved. A new test procedure has been established which will provide better correlation of test conditions to accident conditions than present tests do. Present windshield material and the new safety glazings are compared.
Technical Paper

Fluid Structure Interaction Simulations Applied to Automotive Aerodynamics

One of the passive methods to reduce drag on the unshielded underbody of a passenger road vehicle is to use a vertical deflectors commonly called air dams or chin spoilers. These deflectors reduce the flow rate through the non-streamlined underbody and thus reduce the drag caused by underbody components protruding in to the high speed underbody flow. Air dams or chin spoilers have traditionally been manufactured from hard plastics which could break upon impact with a curb or any solid object on the road. To alleviate this failure mode vehicle manufacturers are resorting to using soft plastics which deflect and deform under aerodynamic loading or when hit against a solid object without breaking in most cases. This report is on predicting the deflection of soft chin spoiler under aerodynamic loads. The aerodynamic loads deflect the chin spoiler and the deflected chin spoiler changes the fluid pressure field resulting in a drag change.
Technical Paper

Sheet Forming with Pulsating Blankholder Modeling and Experiments

Robust processing window and subsequent quality of part are major concerns during sheet metal stamping. The sheet restraining force is a key parameter controlling metal flow, thus influencing formability and quality of the resulting part. Recent advances in press and die building provided capability of altering the restraining force (RF) during a stamping stroke via pulsating blankholder force (PBF). An outcome of this technology would be an increase in the maximum drawing depth resulting from a decrease in the average blankholder force. In this study, laboratory and numerical experiments were performed in an effort to better understand the effect of various PBF trajectories on stamping performance. A working numerical model using explicit code was successfully developed for time effective simulation of drawn cups with pulsating binder force. Preliminary results of this ongoing project are presented. The pulsating force trajectory was found to have a beneficial effect on drawability.
Journal Article

Development of Corrosion Testing Protocols for Magnesium Alloys and Magnesium-Intensive Subassemblies

Corrosion tendency is one of the major inhibitors for increased use of magnesium alloys in automotive structural applications. Moreover, systematic or standardized methods for evaluation of both general and galvanic corrosion of magnesium alloys, either as individual components or eventually as entire subassemblies, remains elusive, and receives little attention from professional and standardization bodies. This work reports outcomes from an effort underway within the U.S. Automotive Materials Partnership - ‘USAMP’ (Chrysler, Ford and GM) directed toward enabling technologies and knowledge base for the design and fabrication of magnesium-intensive subassemblies intended for automotive “front end” applications. In particular, subassemblies consisting of three different grades of magnesium (die cast, sheet and extrusion) and receiving a typical corrosion protective coating were subjected to cyclic corrosion tests as employed by each OEM in the consortium.
Journal Article

An Efficient, One-Dimensional, Finite Element Helical Spring Model for Use in Planar Multi-Body Dynamics Simulation

The helical spring is one of fundamental mechanical elements used in various industrial applications such as valves, suspension mechanisms, shock and vibration absorbers, hand levers, etc. In high speed applications, for instance in the internal combustion engine or in reciprocating compressor valves, helical springs are subjected to dynamic and impact loading, which can result in a phenomenon called “surge”. Hence, proper design and selection of helical springs should consider modeling the dynamic and impact response. In order to correctly characterize the physics of a helical spring and its response to dynamic excitations, a comprehensive model of spring elasticity for various spring coil and wire geometries, spring inertial effects as well as contacts between the windings leading to a non-linear spring force behavior is required. In practical applications, such models are utilized in parametric design and optimization studies.
Journal Article

A New Variable Screening Method for Design Optimization of Large-Scale Problems

Design optimization methods are commonly used for weight reduction subjecting to multiple constraints in automotive industry. One of the major challenges remained is to deal with a large number of design variables for large-scale design optimization problems effectively. In this paper, a new approach based on fuzzy rough set is proposed to address this issue. The concept of rough set theory is to deal with redundant information and seek for a reduced design variable set. The proposed method first exploits fuzzy rough set to screen out the insignificant or redundant design variables with regard to the output functions, then uses the reduced design variable set for design optimization. A vehicle body structure is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method and compare with a traditional weighted sensitivity based main effect approach.