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Technical Paper

2002 Pontiac Montana Frequency Improvements Employing Structural Foam

This paper documents a joint development process between General Motors and Dow Automotive to improve primary body structure frequencies on the GM family of midsize vans by utilizing cavity-filling structural foam. Optimum foam locations, foam quantity, and foam density within the body structure were determined by employing both math-based modeling and vehicle hardware testing techniques. Finite element analysis (FEA) simulations of the Body-In-White (BIW) and “trimmed body” were used to predict the global body structure modes and associated resonant frequencies with and without structural foam. The objective of the FEA activity was to quantify frequency improvements to the primary body structure modes of matchboxing, bending, and torsion when using structural foam. Comprehensive hardware testing on the vehicle was also executed to validate the frequency improvements observed in the FEA results.
Technical Paper

Advances in Complex Eigenvalue Analysis for Brake Noise

Brake squeal has been analyzed by finite elements for some time. Among several methods, complex eigenvalue analysis is proving useful in the design process. It requires hardware verification and it falls into a simulation process. However, it is fast and it can provide guidance for resolving engineering problems. There are successes as well as frustrations in implementing this analysis tool. Its capability, robustness and reliability are closely examined in many companies. Generally, the low frequency squealing mechanism is a rotor axial direction mode that couples the pads, rotor, and other components; while higher frequency squeal mainly exhibits a rotor tangential mode. Design modifications such as selection of rotor design, insulator, chamfer, and lining materials are aimed specifically to cure these noise-generating mechanisms. In GM, complex eigenvalue analysis is used for brake noise analysis and noise reduction. Finite element models are validated with component modal testing.
Technical Paper

A Parametric Approach for Rapid Design and Analysis of Automotive HVAC Defrost Systems

The overall vision of this project was to develop a new technology that will be an enabler to reduce design and development time of HVAC systems by an order of magnitude. The objective initially was to develop a parametric model of an automotive HVAC Windshield Defrost Duct coupled to a passenger compartment. It can be used early on in the design cycle for conducting coarse packaging studies by quickly exploring “what-if” design alternatives. In addition to the packaging studies, performance of these design scenarios can be quickly studied by undertaking CFD simulation and analyzing flow distribution and windshield melting patterns. The validated geometry and CFD models can also be used as knowledge building tools to create knowledge data warehouses or repositories for precious lessons learned.
Technical Paper

Robust Weld Verification for Chassis Structure

The development of a major structural welded assembly is a lengthy and expensive project. The design and the development must generate a product that meets requirements and customer expectations. Product engineers and test engineers developing structural weldments are the target audience for this paper. The purpose of this paper is to describe a Design Of Experiments approach that was developed which helps provide qualitative information on a structural weldment's sensitivity to MIG weld variation.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Cross Wind Air Flow Analysis

CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) has been used to analyze vehicle air flow. In cross wind conditions an asymmetrical flow field around the vehicle is present. Under these circumstances, in addition to the forces present with symmetric air flow (drag and lift forces and pitching moment), side forces and moments (rolling and yawing) occur. Issues related to fuel economy, driveability, sealing effects (caused by suction exerted on the door), structural integrity (sun roof, spoiler), water management (rain deposit), and dirt deposit (shear stress) have been investigated. Due to the software developments and computer hardware improvements, results can be obtained within a reasonable time frame with excellent accuracy (both geometry and analytical solution). The flow velocity, streamlines, pressure field, and component forces can be extracted from the analysis results through visualization to identify potential improvement areas.
Technical Paper

The 1997 Chevrolet Corvette Structure Architecture Synthesis

This paper describes the design, synthesis-analysis and development of the unique vehicle structure architecture for the fifth generation Chevrolet Corvette, ‘C5’, which starts in the 1997 model year. The innovative structural layout of the ‘C5’ enables torsional rigidity in an open roof vehicle which exceeds that of all current production open roof vehicles by a wide margin. The first structural mode of the ‘C5’ in open roof configuration approaches typical values measured in similar size fixed roof vehicles. Extensive use of CAE and a systems methodology of benchmarking and requirements rolldown were employed to develop the ‘C5’ vehicle architecture. Simple computer models coupled with numerical optimization were used early in the design process to evaluate every design concept and alternative iteration for mass and structural efficiency.
Technical Paper

Glass Drop Design for Automobile Windows - Design of Glass Contour, Shape, Drop Motion, and Motion Guidance Systems

This paper presents a new computerized approach for designing the automobile window glass contour, the glass drop motion, and the regulator systems. The three-dimensional geometrical relationship of the glass contour, the drop path, and its guidance system have been studied. Methods for barrel and helical drops are presented for optimizing the glass profile and drop path trajectories. Criteria for perfecting the glass contour are developed for shaping the profile of the vehicle clay model. Methods for correcting the glass contour and shape are presented. Examples are provided to illustrate how to improve the design. This approach integrates the development works of glass contour, drop motion and regulator systems. Through this design approach the window glass can fit and move perfectly in the door assembly.
Technical Paper

Using a Geometric Toolkit to Link Finite Element Calculations in Sheet Metal Forming Analysis

Sheet metal forming of automobile body panel consists of two processes performed in series: binder forming and punch forming. Due to differences in deformation characteristics of the two forming processes, their analysis methods are different. The binder wrap surface shape and formed part shape are calculated using different mathematical models and different finite element codes, e.g., WRAPFORM and PANELFORM, respectively. The output of the binder forming analysis may not be directly applicable to the subsequent punch forming analysis. Interpolation, or approximation, of the calculated binder wrap surface geometry is needed. This surface representation requirement is carried out using computer aided geometric design tools. This paper discusses the use of such a tool, SURFPLAN, to link WRAPFORM and PANELFORM calculations.
Technical Paper

Field Evaluation of Down-Gauged High Performance RIM Fascia Polymers

Reducing the wall thickness of automotive fascia offers cost and weight savings over those manufactured today. New high performance RIM polyurethane/urea and polyurea polymers with improved mechanical properties over conventional systems make down-gauging possible while maintaining specified performance.1 Adding low cost, high surface quality fillers to these polymers provides enhanced dimensional stability in fascia at reduced wall thickness, thus meeting ever increasing demands for lower cost and high quality. This paper describes validation studies of filled RIM fascia down-gauged 22% to 3.0 mm wall thickness and compares them to conventional fascia moulded at nominal 3.9 mm wall thickness. High performance polyurethane/urea, polyurea, and conventional polyurethane/urea each incorporating wollastonite, mica, or milled glass were tested. The data include “on-car position” moisture stability, painted impact at low temperature, and material processing.
Technical Paper

Three-Dimensional Navier-Stokes Analysis of Front End Air Flow for a Simplified Engine Compartment

A computer code for predicting cooling air flow through the radiator and the condenser has been developed. The Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, together with the porous flow model for the radiator and the condenser, were solved to simulate front end air flow and the engine compartment flow simultaneously. These transport equations were discretized based on a finite-volume method in a transformed domain. The computational results for a simplified engine compartment showed overall flow information, such as the cooling air flow through the radiator and the condenser, the effects of an air dam, and the effects of fresh air vents near the top of the radiator and the condenser. Comparison of the available experimental data with the analysis showed excellent prediction of the cooling air flow through the radiator and the condenser.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of a Continuous Annealed Bake Hardenable Steel for Improved Dent Resistance

The potential of bake hardenable steel as a substitute for SAE 1008 steel to reduce gage and improve dent resistance is investigated in this report. Outer body panels in particular are susceptible to palm printing and other forms of denting. Conventional SAE 1008 steel and a developmental continuous annealed bake hardenable steel from Inland Steel Company are compared for dent performance properties. Bake hardenable (BH) steel is a medium strength (200-350 MPa) steel that receives an increase in yield strength during the heating of the paint bake cycle. An increase in yield strength would result in an increase in dent resistance. The increase in dent resistance is more quantitatively evaluated by comparing the BH steel with the current production material (SAE 1008) of a rear compartment lid outer.
Technical Paper

Human Factors Evaluation of Headlight Switching Systems

A search for methods of switching a proposed three beam headlight system led to the evaluation of 41 possible schemes. Human factors criteria reduced the original 41 to three systems which were tested in a laboratory with a broad range of subjects. Recordings of practice trials, learning trials, and the responses to visual cues projected on a screen were analyzed. The same test procedure was also used to compare three alternative ways of switching conventional two beam headlight systems. Summary data is presented for the six systems tested grouped by test subject age, sex, and driving experience. The most pronounced difference observed was in the subjective preference rating among two beam switching systems. All systems tested resulted in remarkably few learning and practice trials. Small differences were recorded among systems in operational response time.
Technical Paper

THE CADILLAC FRAME: A New Design Concept for Lower Cars

THE 1957 Cadillac frame is a significant step in design progress toward the ever lower passenger cars demanded by customers and, therefore, car manufacturers. Stemming from tests and experimental designs in process since 1950, this frame combines reduction in height with a slight increase in structural efficiency. It reverses the trend toward the more costly and heavier structures usually associated with lower cars. Mr. Milliken discusses in Part I the steps Cadillac has taken in the last 19 years to reduce the height 9½ in. to 55½ in. The “Tubular Cenrer-X” frame of the 1957 Eldorado Brougham was the latest and most successful answer to the problem. In Part II Mr. Parker describes the A. O. Smith Corp.'s development of the basic idea and the experimental phases and testing which led to the production designs.
Technical Paper


THIS paper describes the springs, control system, and ride of the air suspension system on the 1958 Buick. The system is a semiclosed one, providing a variable-rate suspension, automatic leveling and trim control, and manual lift. The latter feature is a knob below the instrument panel which can be operated when necessary to cope with unusual clearance conditions. The car remains at the same height with loads of up to five passengers and 500 lb in the trunk. The authors describe the road-holding ability of a car with this suspension system as excellent.
Technical Paper

Nylon RIM Development for Automotive Body Panels

The performance and production requirements for future passenger vehicles has increased the efforts to replace metal body panels with plastic materials. This has been accomplished, to a large extent on some production vehicles that have been introduced recently. Unfortunately, these plastic body applications have necessitated special off-line handling or low temperature paint processing. However, the advantages of RIM nylon, offer the potential for uniquely new plastic body designs, that can be processed through existing assembly plants, much like the steel panels they are intended to replace. The intent of this paper is to discuss the rationale for future plastic body panel material selection and related nylon RIM development efforts.
Technical Paper

Anti-Lacerative Windshield Materials; Field Evaluation by General Motors

This paper describes a test of 2500 General Motors passenger cars equipped with anti-lacerative windshields and driven in rental fleets. It also de840391 scribes the laboratory tests conducted prior to the fleet installation of the test windshields. Evaluation of haze development caused by abrasion of the anti-lacerative surface will take several more years of exposure. Other test results have been encouraging, except for the difficulties encountered in the removal of stickers and decals from the inner surface.
Technical Paper

FEA Predictions and Test Results from Magnesium Beams in Bending and Axial Compression

Finite element analysis (FEA) predictions of magnesium beams are compared to load versus displacement test measurements. The beams are made from AM60B die castings, AM30 extrusions and AZ31 sheet. The sheet and die cast beams are built up from two top hat sections joined with toughened epoxy adhesive and structural rivets. LS-DYNA material model MAT_124 predicts the magnesium behavior over a range of strain rates and accommodates different responses in tension and compression. Material test results and FEA experience set the strain to failure limits in the FEA predictions. The boundary conditions in the FEA models closely mimic the loading and constraint conditions in the component testing. Results from quasi-static four-point bend, quasi-static axial compression and high-speed axial compression tests of magnesium beams show the beam's behavior over a range of loadings and test rates. The magnesium beams exhibit significant material cracking and splitting in all the tests.
Technical Paper

Friction Damped Disc Brake Rotor

Over the last five years, the automotive industry has experienced a trend towards niche performance vehicles equipped with high-output powertrains. These high performance vehicles also demand higher output braking systems. One method used to provide enhanced pedal feel and fade performance is to equip vehicles with higher apparent friction linings. The challenge then becomes how to design and manufacture these brake systems without high-frequency disc brake squeal and without paying a significant mass penalty. One alternative is to design disc brake rotors with increased damping. There are several options for increasing rotor damping. The classical approach is to increase the rotor's cast iron carbon content, thus increasing the internal material damping of the rotor. However, this methodology provides only a small increase in rotor damping. Alternatively, the rotor damping can be increased by introducing friction, sometimes referred to as Coulomb damping.
Technical Paper

Monotonic and Fatigue Behavior of Magnesium Extrusion Alloy AM30: An International Benchmark Test in the “Magnesium Front End Research and Development Project”

Magnesium alloys are the lightest structural metal and recently attention has been focused on using them for structural automotive components. Fatigue and durability studies are essential in the design of these load-bearing components. In 2006, a large multinational research effort, Magnesium Front End Research & Development (MFERD), was launched involving researchers from Canada, China and the US. The MFERD project is intended to investigate the applicability of Mg alloys as lightweight materials for automotive body structures. The participating institutions in fatigue and durability studies were the University of Waterloo and Ryerson University from Canada, Institute of Metal Research (IMR) from China, and Mississippi State University, Westmorland, General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Group LLC from the United States.
Technical Paper

Mechanical and Thermophysical Properties of Magnesium Alloy Extrusions

Magnesium alloy extrusions offer potentially more mass saving compared to magnesium castings. One of the tasks in the United States Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) ?Magnesium Front End Research and Development? (MFERD) project is to evaluate magnesium extrusion alloys AM30, AZ31 and AZ61 for automotive body applications. Solid and hollow sections were made by lowcost direct extrusion process. Mechanical properties in tension and compression were tested in extrusion, transverse and 45 degree directions. The tensile properties of the extrusion alloys in the extrusion direction are generally higher than those of conventional die cast alloys. However, significant tension-compression asymmetry and plastic anisotropy need to be understood and captured in the component design.