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Technical Paper

Development of Magnesium Forged Wheel

Magnesium has the lowest specific gravity of all metals used for structural members. The application of magnesium for a road wheel leads to improved vehicle handling and drivability because of the reduction of an unsprung weight. The authors have developed new magnesium alloy which shows excellent mechanical properties and attained a magnesium forged road wheel that is 30% lighter than aluminum wheels.
Technical Paper

Development of Disk Brake Rotor Utilizing Aluminum Metal Matrix Composite

Disk brake rotors require reduced unsprung weight and improved cooling ability for improved fade performance. Automotive brake rotors made from aluminum metal matrix composites (MMC) were evaluated by dynamometer and vehicle tests for the required improvement. The friction and wear performance and the thermal response during fade stops were compared with those of commercially produced gray cast iron (GCI) rotors. It was proved that MMC is a very effective material to replace GCI for brake rotor application, as it reduces unsprung weight and decreases maximum operation temperature of the brake system.
Technical Paper

Application of Aluminum Honeycomb Sandwiches and Extrusions in a Convertible: Part 1: Design and Performance of a Prototype

Aluminum Honeycomb Sandwiches and Extrusions have been applied to a platform for convertibles. The platform, composed of a dashpanel and floor panels (honeycomb sandwiches) and a framework (extrusions), has a much more lightweight and rigid structure than other conventional convertible bodies-in-white. This improves remarkably vibrational behavior and handling characteristics, which deteriorate in a convertible, in the case of a prototype.
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

Development of Simultaneous Zinc Phosphating Process for Aluminum and Steel Plates

A method was studied for simultaneous zinc phosphating on aluminum and steel surfaces to obtain high corrosion resistance on aluminum surfaces, which conventional phosphatic processing could not provide with sufficient corrosion resistance. Since aluminum is protected by an oxide film on its surface, it has poor processability with zinc phosphating solutions applied to steel. An appropriate quantity of fluoride was therefore added to improve processing, and the coating film, aluminum composition and surface conditions were optimized to suppress filiform corrosion, which is characterized by string-like blisters of paint film starting from a paint defect. In addition, in view of the actual production environment, the corrosion resistance of the ground area made for readjustment after stamping was studied for the optimization of the processing solution.
Technical Paper

Mazda New Lightweight and Compact V6 Engines

Mazda has developed new-generation V6 engines. The new V6 series comprises 2.5-litre, 2.0-litre and 1.8-litre engines. The development objective was to ensure high output performance for excellent “acceleration and top-end feel”, while satisfying “Clean & Economy” requirements. The engines also had to have a pleasant sound. Mazda selected for these engines a short stroke, 60° V-shaped 24 valve DOHC with an aluminum cylinder block. Various techniques are adopted as follows: Combustion improvement and optimization of control to achieve high fuel economy and low emissions Improvement of volumetric efficiency, inertia reduction of rotating parts and optimization of control to achieve excellent “acceleration and top-end feel” Adoption of a high-rigidity, two-piece cylinder block and crankshaft and weight reduction of reciprocating parts to achieve a pleasant engine sound Material changes and elimination of dead space to achieve a compact, lightweight engine
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Evaluating Body Architecture Concepts Using Technical Cost Modeling

The ability to make accurate decisions concerning early body-in-white architectures is critical to an automaker since these decisions often have long term cost and weight impacts. We address this need with a methodology which can be used to assist in body architecture decisions using process-based technical cost modeling (TCM) as a filter to evaluate alternate designs. Despite the data limitations of early design concepts, TCM can be used to identify key trends for cost-effectiveness between design variants. A compact body-in-white architecture will be used as a case study to illustrate this technique. The baseline steel structure will be compared to several alternate aluminum intensive structures in the context of production volume.
Technical Paper

Spot Friction Welding of Aluminum to Steel

Spot friction welding (SFW) is a cost-effective spot joining technology for aluminum sheets compared with resistance spot welding (RSW) [1]. In this study, coated mild steel was spot friction welded to 6000 series aluminum using a tool with shoulder diameter of 10 mm and welding conditions of 1500-2000 rpm and time of 5 s. Testing showed that tensile shear strength increased as the solidus temperature of the coating on the steel decreased. Microstructure characterizations of steel/Al joint interfaces showed that zinc from the coatings was incorporated into the stir nuggets and that intermetallic phases may have formed but not in continuous layers. Some Al-Zn oxides that appeared to be amorphous were also found in the joint interfaces.
Technical Paper

Novel Near-Net-Shape Tool-Less Method for Manufacturing of Cast Metal Matrix Composites: Three-Dimensional Printing (3DP) of Ceramic Preforms Combined with Investment Casting Technology

New three-dimensional printing technology (3DP) developed at MIT was tried as a manufacturing method to fabricate ceramic preforms for a discontinuously reinforced metal matrix composites. Minor modifications to the “legacy” 3DP technology allowed to produce such preforms successfully. Preforms were then infiltrated with liquid aluminum resulting in composite materials as strong as produced via conventional methods. Net shape connecting rod preforms were 3D-printed and used to produce composite connecting rods without building any molds or tooling using novel Tool-less Mold™ technology.
Technical Paper

The Use of Semi-Solid Rheocasting (SSR) for Aluminum Automotive Castings

Semi-solid metal (SSM) casting has long been identified as a high-volume process for producing safety-critical and structural automotive castings, but cost and complexity issues have limited its widespread commercial acceptance. Rheocasting, an SSM process that creates semi-solid slurry directly from liquid metal, eliminates the cost disadvantages of the process. However, the majority of rheocasting processes are complex and difficult to operate in the foundry environment. Recent work at MIT has led to the fundamental discovery that application of heat removal and convection as a molten alloy cools through the liquidus creates a non-dendritic, semi-solid slurry. A new process based on this understanding, S.S.R.™ (Semi-Solid Rheocasting), simplifies the rheocasting process by controlling heat removal and convection of an alloy during cooling using an external device. Solution heat treatable castings have been produced in a horizontal die casting machine with the S.S.R.™ process.
Technical Paper

Structural Designs for Electric Vehicle Battery Pack against Ground Impact

Ground impact caused by road debris can result in very severe fire accident of Electric Vehicles (EV). In order to study the ground impact accidents, a Finite Element model of the battery pack structure is carefully set up according to the practical designs of EVs. Based on this model, the sequence of the deformation process is studied, and the contribution of each component is clarified. Subsequently, four designs, including three enhanced shield plates and one enhanced housing box, are investigated. Results show that the BRAS (Blast Resistant Adaptive Sandwich) shield plate is the most effective structure to decrease the deformation of the battery cells. Compared with the baseline case, which adopts a 6.35-mm-thick aluminum sheet as the shield plate, the BRAS can reduce the shortening of cells by more than 50%. Another type of sandwich structure, the NavTruss, can also improve the safety of battery pack, but not as effectively as the BRAS.