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Technical Paper

A Look at the Automotive-Turbine Regenerator System and Proposals to Improve Performance and Reduce Cost

The adoption of turbine engines for automotive power plants has been hampered by the high cost, high leakage and high wear rate of present designs of ceramic-matrix regenerators. Proposals are made and analyzed here for design directions to achieve substantial improvements in all three areas. These include lower-cost extruded and pressed matrices; and clamping seals coupled with incremental movement of the rotary-regenerator matrix.
Technical Paper

Draw Bead Penetration as a Control Element of Material Flow

Draw beads are widely utilized as a mechanism for providing proper restraining force to a sheet in a forming operation. In this paper, numerical simulations using the nonlinear finite element method are conducted to model the process of drawing a sheet through various draw bead configurations to study the mechanics of draw bead restraint. By examing the sensitivity of the draw bead restraining force due to the change of the draw bead penetration, the work shows that the penetration has the potential to be a very good element for varying and controlling restraining force during the process. A closed-loop feedback control of draw bead penetration using a proportional-integral controller is achieved by the combination of the original finite element simulation and a special element which links penetration to a pre-defined restraining force trajectory.
Technical Paper

A CAD-Driven Flexible Forming System for Three-Dimensional Sheet Metal Parts

A novel system for the forming of three dimensional sheet metal parts is described that can form a variety of part shapes without the need for fixed tooling, and given only geometry (CAD) information about the desired part. The central elements of this system are a tooling concept based on a programmable discrete die surface and closed-loop shape control. The former give the process the degrees of freedom to change shape rapidly, and the latter is used to insure that the correct shape is formed with a minimum of forming trials. A 540 kN (60 ton) lab press has been constructed with a 0.3 m (12 in) square pair of discrete tools that can be rapidly re-shaped between forming trials. The shape control system uses measured part shapes to determine a shape error and to correct the tooling shape. This correction is based on a unique “Deformation Transfer Function” approach using a spatial frequency decomposition of the surface.
Technical Paper

Optimal Forming of Aluminum 2008-T4 Conical Cups Using Force Trajectory Control

In this paper we investigate the optimal forming of conical cups of AL 2008-T4 through the use of real-time process control. We consider a flat, frictional binder the force of which can be determined precisely through closed-loop control. Initially the force is held constant throughout the forming of the cup, and various levels of force are tested experimentally and with numerical simulation. Excellent agreement between experiment and simulation is observed. The effects of binder force on cup shape, thickness distribution, failure mode and cup failure height are investigated, and an “optimal” constant binder force is determined. For this optimal case, the corresponding punch force is recorded as a function of punch displacement and is used in subsequent closed-loop control experiments. In addition to the constant force test, a trial variable binder force test was performed to extend the failure height beyond that obtained using the “optimal” constant force level.
Technical Paper

Particulate Filter Soot Load Measurements using Radio Frequency Sensors and Potential for Improved Filter Management

Efficient aftertreatment management requires accurate sensing of both particulate filter soot and ash levels for optimized feedback control. Currently a combination of pressure drop measurements and predictive models are used to indirectly estimate the loading state of the filter. Accurate determination of filter soot loading levels is challenging under certain operating conditions, particularly following partial regeneration events and at low flow rate (idle) conditions. This work applied radio frequency (RF)-based sensors to provide a direct measure of the particulate filter soot levels in situ. Direct measurements of the filter loading state enable advanced feedback controls to optimize the combined engine and aftertreatment system for improved DPF management. This study instrumented several cordierite and aluminum titanate diesel particulate filters with RF sensors. The systems were tested on a range of light- and heavy-duty applications, which included on- and off-road engines.
Technical Paper

Economic Analysis of Hydro-Mechanical Sheet Metal Forming

Recent industry trends have resulted in growing interest among automakers in low to medium volume manufacturing. The expansion of automobile production into developing economies and the desire to produce specialized vehicles for niche markets have pressed the automakers to find cost effective solutions for manufacturing at low volumes, particularly with regard to sheet metal forming. Conventional high volume stamping operations rely heavily on achieving minimum scale economies which occur at about 200,000 parts per year. These scale economies are mainly dictated by the efficient use of the standard, expensive cast iron dies. These dies can cost well over one million dollars depending on the part, and in return offer tool lives over 5 million strokes. Die investment can be reduced by changing the stamping process technology. Hydro-mechanical forming has been proposed as a promising low volume alternative to conventional stamping.
Technical Paper

Alternative Tooling Technologies for Low Volume Stamping

Low volume manufacturing has become increasingly important for the automotive industry. Globalization trends have led automakers and their suppliers to operate in developing regions where minimum efficient scales can not always be achieved. With proper maintenance, standard cast iron stamping tools can be used to produce millions of parts, but require large investments. Thus at high production volumes, the impact of the tooling investment on individual piece costs is minimized. However, at low volumes there is a substantial cost penalty. In light of the trends towards localized manufacturing and relatively low demands in some developing markets, low cost stamping tools are needed. Several alternate tooling technologies exist, each of which require significantly lower initial investments, but suffer from greatly reduced tool lives. However, the use of these technologies at intermediate to high volumes requires multiple tool sets thus eliminating their cost advantage.
Technical Paper

Detailed Calculation of Heating, Evaporation, and Reaction Processes of a Thin Liquid Layer of Hydrocarbon Fuel

A one-dimensional model has been developed for the species and energy transfer over a thin (0.1-0.5 mm) layer of liquid fuel present on the wall of a spark-ignition engine. Time-varying boundary conditions during compression and flame passage were used to determine the rate of methanol vaporization and oxidation over a mid-speed, mid-load cycle, as a function of wall temperature. The heat of vaporization and the boiling point of the fuel were varied about a baseline to determine the effect of these characteristics, at a fixed operating point and lean conditions (ϕ = 0.9). The calculations show that the evaporation of fuels from layers on cold walls starts during flame passage, peaking a few milliseconds later, and continuing through the exhaust phase.
Technical Paper

Engine Wear Modeling with Sensitivity to Lubricant Chemistry: A Theoretical Framework

The life of an automotive engine is often limited by the ability of its components to resist wear. Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) is an engine oil additive that reduces wear in an engine by forming solid antiwear films at points of moving contact. The effects of this additive are fairly well understood, but there is little theory behind the kinetics of antiwear film formation and removal. This lack of dynamic modeling makes it difficult to predict the effects of wear at the design stage for an engine component or a lubricant formulation. The purpose of this discussion is to develop a framework for modeling the formation and evolution of ZDDP antiwear films based on the relevant chemical pathways and physical mechanisms at work.
Technical Paper

The Mars Gravity Biosatellite: Innovations in Murine Motion Analysis and Life Support

The MIT-based Mars Gravity Biosatellite payload engineering team has been engaged in designing and prototyping sensor and control systems for deployment within the rodent housing zone of the satellite, including novel video processing and atmospheric management tools. The video module will be a fully autonomous real-time analysis system that takes raw video footage of the specimen mice as input and distills those parameters which are of primary physiological importance from a scientific research perspective. Such signals include activity level, average velocity and rearing behavior, all of which will serve as indicators of animal health and vestibular function within the artificial gravity environment. Unlike raw video, these parameters require minimal storage space and can be readily transmitted to earth over a radio link of very low bandwidth.