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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

Effect of Composition, Particle Size, and Heat Treatment on the Mechanical Properties of Al-4.5 wt.% Cu Based Alumina Particulate Reinforced Composites

The quest for higher efficiency and performance of automotive vehicles requires application of materials with high strength, stiffness and lower weight in their construction. Particulate-reinforced aluminum-matrix composites are cost-competitive materials, which can meet these requirements. MMCC, Inc. has been optimizing particulate-reinforced alloy systems and developing the Advanced Pressure Infiltration Casting (APIC™) process for the manufacture of components from these materials. This paper discusses the results of a recent study in which composites reinforced with 55 vol.% alumina were cast using two sizes of alumina particulate and eight different matrix alloys based on Al-4.5 wt.% Cu with varying amounts of silicon and magnesium. Optimum heat treatments for each alloy were determined utilizing microhardness studies. The tensile strength and fracture toughness were evaluated as a function of alloy chemistry, particulate size, and heat treatment.
Technical Paper

Application of Vibration Damping Steel Sheet for Autobody Structural Parts

As a demand for vehicles of higher functionality grows, automakers and material suppliers are devoting increasing efforts to develop technologies for greater safety, lighter weight, higher corrosion resistance, and enhanced quietness. The resin-sandwiched vibration damping steel sheet (VDSS), developed as a highly functional material for reducing vehicle vibration and noise, has been used for oil pans1) and compartment partitions2). First applied for a structural dash panel of the new Mazda 929, a Zn-Ni electroplated VDSS which allows direct electric welding has contributed to greater weight reduction as well as improved quietness.
Technical Paper

Collapse of Thin-Walled Curved Beam with Closed-Hat Section - Part 2: Simulation by Plane Plastic Hinge Model

This paper describes a calculating method to predict the quasi-static collapsing behaviors of spot-welded closed-hat section curved beams under axial compression. The overall deformat ions and the local buckling modes of beams were calculated using a geometrical model. Force-displacement relations were predicted by a elastic-plastic structural analysis method using the ‘plastic hinge’ concept. Collapsing tests were made on beams which are differenting section size, rotation angle, and metal sheet thickness. Comparisons between the calculated and experimental results of deformed shapes of beams, the local buckling modes and the force displacement relations are discussed.
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

Superior Color Matching of Fascia and Body

To coat flexible parts such as R-RIM Urethane Fascia baked at low temperatures, a different painting approach from one for steel parts is employed. Since paint color differences between the fascia and the body would downgrade the product, a color matching technique is required. For better color matching, matching of color shades was attempted with improvement of paint resin, optimal pigment blending and analysis of how color is affected by varying conditions. Application of a primer for finishing has brought about the desired paint film distinctness. Introduced was also the high weatherablilty paint for plastic parts. All such techniques were utilized on R-RIM Urethane Fascia to achieve high-grade color matching.
Technical Paper

Parametric Analysis of Resistance Spot Welding Lobe Curve

A linearized lumped parameter heat balance model was developed and is discussed for the general case of resistance welding to see the effects of each parameter on the lobe shape. The parameters include material properties, geometry of electrodes and work piece, weld time and current, and electrical and thermal contact characteristics. These are then related to heat dissipation in the electrodes and the work piece. The results indicate that the ratio of thermal conductivity and heat capacity to electrical resistivity is a characteristic number which is representative of the ease of spot weldability of a given material. The increases in thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the sheet metal increase the lobe width while increases in electrical resistivity decrease the lobe width. Inconsistencies in the weldability of thin sheets and the wider lobe width at long welding times can both be explained by the heat dissipation characteristics.
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

The Corrosion Resistance of Organic Composite-Coated Steel Sheets

In order to investigate the corrosion resistance of organic composite-coated steel sheets ( OCS ) in a real automotive environment, many kinds of corrosion tests were performed on test pieces and real automotive doors. Tests with a corrosive solution including iron rust were introduced to simulate the real corrosive environment of automotive doors. The relationship between the components of OCS and the corrosion resistance in the rust-including tests was examined. In addition, electrochemical studies were performed. Results indicate OCS has much better corrosion resistance than plated steel sheets with heavier coating weight in all tests. OCS shows excellent corrosion resistance in rust-free corrosive solution, however, some types of OCS do have corrosion concerns in rust-including tests. It became clear that these OCS types have an organic coating with lower cross-linking.
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

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

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

Application of Plasma Welding to Tailor- Welded Blanks

In recent years, improving fuel efficiency and collision safety are important issue. We have worked on a new construction method to develop body structure which is light weight and strong/stiff. We adopt multi type Tailor-Welded Blanks (TWB) which is formed after welding several steel sheets for ATENZA (MAZDA 6), NEW DEMIO (MAZDA 2), and RX-8. This is a technology to consistently improve of such product properties and to reduce costs. Laser welding is a common TWB welding method, but for further equipment cost reductions and productivity improvements, we have developed a higher welding speed and robust plasma welding and introduced this to mass production. We introduce this activity and results in this report.
Technical Paper

Crashworthiness of Thin Ultra-light Stainless Steel Sandwich Sheets: From the Design of Core Materials to Structural Applications

Thin sandwich sheets hold a promise for widespread use in automotive industry due to their good crash and formability properties. In this paper, thin stainless steel sandwich sheets with low-density core materials are investigated with regard to their performance in crashworthiness applications. The total thickness of the sandwich materials is about 1.2mm: 0.2mm thick facings and a 0.8mm thick sandwich core. Throughout the crushing of prismatic sandwich profiles, the sandwich facings are bent and stretched while the sandwich core is crushed under shear loading. Thus, a high shear crushing strength of the sandwich core material is beneficial for the overall energy absorption of the sandwich profile. It is shown theoretically that the weight specific shear crushing strength of hexagonal metallic honeycombs is higher than the one of fiber cores - irrespective of their relative density or microstructural geometry.
Technical Paper

Achieving An Affordable Low Emission Steel Vehicle; An Economic Assessment of the ULSAB-AVC Program Design

Vehicle weight reduction, reduced costs and improved safety performance are the main driving forces behind material selection for automotive applications. These goals are conflicting in nature and solutions will be realized by innovative design, advanced material processing and advanced materials. Advanced high strength steels are engineered materials that provide a remarkable combination of formability, strength, ductility, durability, strain-rate sensitivity and strain hardening characteristics essential to meeting the goals of automotive design. These characteristics act as enablers to cost- and mass-effective solutions. The ULSAB-AVC program demonstrates a solution to these conflicting goals and the advantages that are possible with the utilization of the advance high strength steels and provides a prediction of the material content of future body structures.
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.