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Technical Paper

A Method of Predicting Dent Resistance of Automobile Body Panels

Optimizing the design of automobile outer panels for weight reductions requires a consideration of stiffness and dent resistance. This paper presents a finite element analysis method for predicting the dent resistance of automobile body panels. The method is based on elastoplasticity analysis and nonlinear contact analysis. The analysis shows that dent resistance is greatly influenced not only by the stress-strain curve of the formed panel but also by the residual stress in the panel. An increase in yield stress improves dent resistance. The computed results obtained with this method compare favorably with experimental data, thereby validating this approach.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Vehicle Wind Throb Using CFD and Flow Visualization

Passenger cars with sunroofs sometimes experience a low frequency pulsation noise called “wind throb” when traveling with the roof open. This “wind throb” should be suppressed because it is an unpleasant noise which can adversely affect the acoustic environment inside a car. In this paper, 3-dimensional numerical flow analysis is applied around a car body to investigate the wind throb phenomenon. The computational scheme and the modeling method of the car body is first described. A flow visualization test in a water tunnel was completed for the simple car body shape to compare against the numerical procedure. The numerical and the visualized results compared well and the numerical simulation method employed was considered to be a reliable tool to analyze the wind throb phenomenon. Calculated results of pressure and vorticity distribution in the sunroof opening were analyzed with the spectrum of pressure fluctuation at the sunroof opening with and without a deflector.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Torsional Stiffness Share Rate of Truck Frame

In order to design a well-balanced truck frame, optimization of not only the stiffness of the entire body and stress of each member, but also the internal force of each member is necessary, including the effect of a rear body mounted on the frame. This paper proposes a new parameter, “torsional stiffness share rate,” that directly correlates the contribution of member torsional stiffness to frame torsional stiffness with the internal force of the members as to torsion of the truck frame. The merits of the torsional stiffness share rate are shown in comparison with the strain energy share rate and the stiffness contribution rate. The results of experimental and FEM analyses of the torsional stiffness share rate are also presented.
Technical Paper

Shape Optimization of Solid Structures Using the Growth-Strain Method (Application to Chassis Components)

This paper describes the shape optimization analysis of solid structures such as chassis components of a car, where the shape optimization problems of linearly elastic structures are treated to improve strength or to reduce weight of solid structures. The optimization method used here is the growth-strain method, and the shape optimization system is developed based on this method. The growth-strain method, which modifies a shape by generating bulk strain, was previously proposed for analysis of the uniform-strength shape. The generation law of the bulk strain is given as a function of a distributed parameter to be uniformed, such as von Mises stress. Two improved generation laws are presented. The first law makes the distributed parameter uniform while controlling the structural volume to a target value. The second law makes the distributed parameter uniform while controlling the maximum value of the distributed parameter to a target value.
Technical Paper

Structural Joint Stiffness of Automotive Body

An analysis of the static behavior of T-shaped joint is presented. Advanced testings by laser holography and infrared ray stress wave analyzers verified the surface deformation and the stress concentration of joint area, which are very important factors of thin-walled joint stiffness. The definition of structural joint stiffness is attempted, and the relationship between structural joint stiffness and sizes(dimension) of the constructing members is obtained in case of a thin-walled T-shaped member with rectangular cross section. The parametric study to accomplish weight reduction, while maintaining the necessary structural joint stiffness, is described in case of Rocker to Center pillar. The numerical analysis of body structure considering the structural joint stiffness shows better accuracy as compared with the analysis with the joint assumed rigid.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Tire Deformation on Ride Comfort of a Truck

When truck tires have a deformation such as radial runout, flat spot, and abnormal wear as a result of panic braking, they affect vehicle vibration in the form of displacement input whose spectrum involves higher order terms of tire revolution. While a truck has vibration modes of frame bending as well as pitching and unsprung-mass viberation in the input frequency range, the tire displacement input induces vehicle vibration as a combination of these modes. Results of calculations and experiments of a 4x2 medium-duty truck are analyzed and an example of means for improving ride comfort is described in this paper.
Technical Paper

Energy Absorption and Load Transmission at Vehicle Frontal Collision

This paper describes the method to improve the energy absorption characteristics during the vehicle frontal collision. The method is to control the collapse phases of the members constituting the vehicle body and to increase collapse force of a member. This phase-control can be accomplished by superimposing the crest of the collapse force curve, which one member causes, on the trough of any other members'. The bulkheads installed in the members are useful. to control the phase and to increase the collapse force. Numerical analysis and experiment of a vehicle collision show that the control leads to the improvement of energy absorption characteristics and load transmission efficiency.
Technical Paper

The Prediction of Refrigeration Cycle Performance with Front End Air Flow CFD Analysis of an Automotive Air Conditioner

The purpose of this paper is to present a prediction method for the refrigerator performance of an automotive air conditioner (A/C). In order to predict the refrigerator performance in arbitrary situations, we consider the thermal equilibrium of the refrigeration cycle through A/C components, as the compressor, the evaporator and the condenser. These components are affected by the thermal property of the refrigerant. Influences of circumstantial flow and temperature field in the engine compartment also are reflected upon, because the cooling performance of the condenser is sensitive to that. In this paper, we try to derive algebraic models for the major components with regard to the thermal equilibrium in the refrigeration cycle. Furthermore, we use a Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis (CFD) for the prediction of cooling airflow temperature in the engine compartment, which is another essential factor in determining the state of the refrigeration cycle.