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Journal Article

Experimental Characterization of High-Pressure Impinging Sprays for CFD Modeling of GDI Engines

Today, Direct-Injection systems are widely used on Spark-Ignition engines in combination with turbo-charging to reduce the fuel-consumption and the knock risks. In particular, the spread of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) systems is mainly related to the use of new generations of multi-hole, high-pressure injectors whose characteristics are quite different with respect to the hollow-cone, low-pressure injectors adopted in the last decade. This paper presents the results of an experimental campaign conducted on the spray produced by a GDI six-holes injector into a constant volume vessel with optical access. The vessel was filled with air at atmospheric pressure. Different operating conditions were considered for an injection pressure ranging from 3 to 20 MPa. For each operating condition, spray images were acquired by a CCD camera and then post processed to evaluate the spray penetration and cone angles.
Technical Paper

Effects of Turbulence Modulation Addition in OpenFOAM® Toolkit on High Pressure Fuel Sprays

The OpenFOAM® CFD methodology is nowadays employed for simulation in internal combustion engines and a lot of work has been done for an appropriate description of all complex phenomena. At the moment in the RANS turbulence models available in the OpenFOAM® toolbox the turbulence modulation is not yet included, and the present work analyzes the predictive capabilities of the code in simulating high injection pressure fuel sprays after modeling the influence of the dispersed phase on the turbulence structure. Different experiments were employed for the validation. At first, non-evaporating diesel spray was considered in a constant volume and quiescent vessel. The validation was performed via the available experimental spray evolution in terms of penetrations and spatial/temporal fuel distributions. Then the Sandia combustion chamber was chosen for diesel spray simulation in non-reacting conditions.
Journal Article

Data Driven Estimation of Exhaust Manifold Pressure by Use of In-cylinder Pressure Information

Although the application of cylinder pressure sensors to gain insight into the combustion process is not a novel topic itself, the recent availability of inexpensive in-cylinder pressure sensors has again prompted an upcoming interest for the utilization of the cylinder pressure signal within engine control and monitoring. Besides the use of the in-cylinder pressure signal for combustion analysis and control the information can also be used to determine related quantities in the exhaust or intake manifold. Within this work two different methods to estimate the pressure inside the exhaust manifold are proposed and compared. In contrary to first principle based approaches, which may require time extensive parameterization, alternative data driven approaches were pursued. In the first method a Principle Component Analysis (PCA) is applied to extract the cylinder pressure information and combined with a polynomial model approach.
Technical Paper

Identification of Agricultural Tyres' Handling Characteristics from Full Vehicle Experimental Tests

For passenger cars, individual tyre model parameters, used in vehicle models able to simulate vehicle handling behavior, are traditionally derived from expensive component indoor laboratory tests as a result of an identification procedure minimizing the error with respect to force and slip measurements. Indoor experiments on agricultural tyres are instead more challenging and thus generally not performed due to tyre size and applied forces. However, the knowledge of their handling characteristics is becoming more and more important since in the next few years, all agricultural vehicles are expected to run on ordinary asphalt roads at a speed of 80km/h. The present paper presents a methodology to identify agricultural tyres' handling characteristics based only on the measurements carried out on board vehicle (vehicle sideslip angle, yaw rate, lateral acceleration, speed and steer angle) during standard handling maneuvers (step-steers, J-turns, etc.), instead than during indoor tests.
Technical Paper

Multi-Dimensional Modeling of Gas Exchange and Fuel-Air Mixing Processes in a Direct-Injection, Gas Fueled Engine

Direct-injection technology represents today a very interesting solution to the typical problems that are generally encountered in SI, gas-fueled engines such as reduced volumetric efficiency, backfire and knock. However, development of suitable injection systems and combustion chamber geometry is necessary to optimize the fuel-air mixing and combustion processes. To this end, CFD models are widely applied even if the influence of the mesh structure, numerical and turbulence models on the computed results are still matter of investigation. In this work, a numerical methodology for the simulation of the gas exchange and injection processes in gas-fueled engines was developed within the Lib-ICE framework, which is a set of libraries and applications for IC engine modeling developed using the OpenFOAM® technology. The gas exchange and fuel injection processes were simulated into a four-valve, pent-roof hydrogen-fueled engine with optical access.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Pressure Wave Reflection from Open-Ends in I.C.E. Duct Systems

In the most elementary treatment of plane-wave reflection at the open end of a duct system, it is often assumed that the ends are pressure nodes. This implies that pressure is assumed as a constant at the open end termination and that steady flow boundary condition is supposed as instantaneously established. While this simplifying assumption seems reasonable, it does not consider any radiation of acoustic energy from the duct into the surrounding free space; hence, an error in the estimation of the effects of the flow on the acoustical response of an open-end duct occurs. If radiation is accounted, a complicated three-dimensional wave pattern near the duct end is established, which tends to readjust the exit pressure to its steady-flow level. This adjustment process is continually modified by further incident waves, so that the effective instantaneous boundary conditions which determine the reflected waves depend on the flow history.
Journal Article

Indoor/Outdoor Testing of a Passenger Car Suspension for Vibration and Harshness Analysis

This paper presents a validation method for indoor testing of a passenger car suspension. A study was done to design a supporting modular structure with comparable inertances with respect to a vehicle's actual suspension and body connection points. For the indoor test, the rear axle is positioned on a rotating drum. The suspension system is excited as the wheel passes over cleats fixed on the drum and transient wheel motions are recorded. The indoor test rig outputs (i.e., wheel and chassis accelerations) were compared with experimental data measured on an actual vehicle running at different speeds on the same set of cleats along a flat road. The comparison results validate the indoor testing method. The forces and moments acting at each suspension and chassis connection point were measured with a set of patented six-axis load cells. The forces, moments, wheel and subframe accelerations were measured up to 120 Hz.
Technical Paper

Comparison and Standardization of Numerical Approaches for the Prediction of Non-reacting and Reacting Diesel Sprays

The primary objective of the research discussed here was to compare the commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, CONVERGE, and a prevalent open-source code, OpenFOAM, with regard to their ability to predict spray and combustion characteristics. The high-fidelity data were obtained from the Engine Combustion Network (ECN) at Sandia National Laboratory in a constant-volume combustion vessel under well-defined, controlled conditions. The experiments and simulations were performed by using two diesel surrogate fuels (i.e., n-heptane and n-dodecane) under both non-reacting and reacting conditions. Specifically, ECN data on spray penetration, liquid length, vapor penetration, mixture fraction, ignition delay, and flame lift-off length (LOL) were used to validate both codes. Results indicate that both codes can predict the above experimental characteristics very well.
Journal Article

Improving the Simulation of the Acoustic Performance of Complex Silencers for ICE by a Multi-Dimensional Non-Linear Approach

In this paper a three-dimensional time-domain CFD approach has been employed to predict and analyze the acoustic attenuation performance of complex perforated muffler geometries, where strong 3D effects limit the validity of the use of one-dimensional models. A pressure pulse has been imposed at the inlet to excite the wave motion, while unsteady flow computation have been performed to acquire the time histories of the pressures upstream and downstream of the silencer. Pressures in the time domain have been then transformed to acoustic pressures in the frequency domain, to predict the transmission loss.
Journal Article

Numerical and Experimental Investigation on Vehicles in Platoon

Many studies have been carried out to optimize the aerodynamic performances of a single car or a single vehicle. In present days the traffic increases and sophisticated technologies are developing to guarantee the drivers safety, to minimize the fuel consumption and be more environmentally friendly. Within this research area a new technique that is being studied is Platooning: this means that different vehicles travel in a configuration that minimizes the aerodynamic drag and therefore the fuel consumption and the longitudinal space. In the present study platoons with different vehicles and configurations are taken into account, to analyze the influence of car shape and relative distance between the vehicles. The research has been carried out using CFD techniques to investigate the different flow fields around different platoons, while wind tunnel tests have been used to validate the results of the CFD simulations.
Journal Article

Dynamic Response of Vehicle-Driver Couple to the Aerodynamic Loads due to the Crossing of a Bridge Tower Wake

In the paper, a procedure to assess the quality of the shielding effect of wind barriers to protect large sided vehicles crossing the wake of a bridge pylon under cross wind conditions is proposed. The methodology is based on Multi-Body simulations of the response of the vehicle-driver system when it is subjected to the sudden change of the aerodynamic forces due to the wind-tower interaction. The aerodynamic forces that are instantaneously acting on the vehicle are computed according to a force distribution approach that relies on wind tunnel tests that may be performed on still scaled models. From the knowledge of the aerodynamic force distribution along the vehicle at different yaw angles and of the mean wind profile across the tower wake, the aerodynamic force, acting on the moving vehicle, is reconstructed at each time step taking into consideration the actual vehicle-driver dynamics.
Technical Paper

A New Electric Powertrain for Light Trucks: Indoor Testing and Advanced Simulation

A new electric powertrain and axle for light/medium trucks is presented. The indoor testing and the simulation of the dynamic behavior are performed. The powertrain and axle has been produced by Streparava and tested at the Laboratory for the Safety of Transport of the Politecnico di Milano. The tests were aimed at defining the multi-physics perfomance of the powertrain and axle (efficiency, acceleration and braking, temperature and NVH). The whole system for indoor tests was composed by the powertrain and axle (electric motor, driveline, suspensions, wheels) and by the test rig (drums, driveline and electric motor). The (driving) axle was positioned on a couple of drums, and the drums provided the proper torques to the wheels to reproduce acceleration and braking. Additionally a cleat fixed on one drum excited the vibration of the suspensions and allowed assessing NVH performance. The simulations were based on a special co-simulation between 1D-AMESIM and VIRTUAL.LAB.
Technical Paper

An Extension of the Dynamic Mesh Handling with Topological Changes for LES of ICE in OpenFOAM®

The paper focuses on the development of a mesh moving method based on non-conformal topologically changing grids applied to the simulation of IC engines, where the prescribed motion of piston and valves is accomplished by rigidly translating the sub-domain representing the moving component. With respect to authors previous work, a more robust and efficient algorithm to handle the connectivity of non-conformal interfaces and a mesh-motion solver supporting multiple layer addition/removal of cells, to decouple the time-step constraints of the mesh motion and of the fluid dynamics, has been implemented as a C++ library to extend the already existing classes for dynamic mesh handling of the finite-volume, open-source CFD code OpenFOAM®. Other new features include automatic decomposition of large multiple region domains to preserve processors load balance with topological changes for parallel computations and additional tools for automatic preprocessing and case setup.
Journal Article

A Scale Adaptive Filtering Technique for Turbulence Modeling of Unsteady Flows in IC Engines

Swirling flows are very dominant in applied technical problems, especially in IC engines, and their prediction requires rather sophisticated modeling. An adaptive low-pass filtering procedure for the modeled turbulent length and time scales is derived and applied to Menter' original k - ω SST turbulence model. The modeled length and time scales are compared to what can potentially be resolved by the computational grid and time step. If the modeled scales are larger than the resolvable scales, the resolvable scales will replace the modeled scales in the formulation of the eddy viscosity; therefore, the filtering technique helps the turbulence model to adapt in accordance with the mesh resolution and the scales to capture.
Technical Paper

CFD Modelling of Gasoline Sprays

A comprehensive model for sprays emerging from high pressure swirl injectors for GDI engine application has been developed. The primary and secondary atomization mechanism as well as the evaporation process both in standard and superheated conditions are taken into account. The spray modelling after the injection is based on the Liquid Instability Sheet Atomization (LISA) approach, modified to correctly predict the liquid sheet thickness at the breakup length. The effect of different values of the superheat degree on evaporation and impact on the spray distribution and fuel-air mixing is analyzed. Comparisons with experimental data show good agreements under atmospheric conditions and with different superheated degrees, while some discrepancies occur under higher ambient pressures.
Journal Article

Test Rig for Characterization of Automotive Suspension Systems

A test rig (named RuotaVia) is presented for the in-door testing of road vehicle suspension systems. It is basically a drum (ϕ 2.6 m) providing a running surface for testing the dynamic performance of a single tire or suspension system (corner). The suspension system is instrumented for the measurement of the forces and the moments acting at each joint connecting the suspension to the car body. A new 6 axis load cell was designed and manufactured for this purpose. The accelerations in various locations of the system (wheel carrier, suspension arms, …) and the wheel centre displacements in the longitudinal and vertical directions are monitored. The effect of the dynamic interaction between the test rig and the suspension system is discussed in the paper. The direct measurement of the forces and moments at the suspension-chassis joints is still an effective way for understanding the vibration and harshness (VH) suspension performances.
Technical Paper

Design and Construction of a Test Rig for Assessing Tyre Characteristics at Rollover

The paper presents a new test rig (named RuotaVia) composed basically by a drum (2,6 m diameter), providing a running contact surface for vehicle wheels. A number of measurements on either full vehicles or vehicle sub-systems (single suspension system or single tyre) can be performed. Tire characteristics influencing rollover can be assessed. The steady-state maximum loads are as follows: Radial: 100kN, tangential: 100kN, lateral (axial with respect to the drum): 100kN. The superstructure carrying a measuring hub can excite the wheel under test up to 20 Hz in lateral and vertical directions. The steer angle range is ± 25 deg, the camber range is ± 80 deg. The minimum eigenfrequency of the drum is higher than 90 Hz and its maximum tangential speed is 440 km/h.
Journal Article

Design of Catalytic Devices by Means of Genetic Algorithm: Comparison Between Open-Cell Foam and Honeycomb Type Substrates

Metallic foams or sponges are materials with a cell structure suitable for many industrial applications, such as reformers, heat catalytic converters, etc. The success of these materials is due to the combination of various characteristics such as mechanical strength, low density, high specific surface, good thermal exchange properties, low flow resistance and sound absorption. Different materials and manufacturing processes produce different type of structure and properties for various applications. In this work a genetic algorithm has been developed and applied to support the design of catalytic devices. In particular, two substrates were considered, namely the traditional honeycomb and an alternative open-cell foam type. CFD simulations of pressure losses and literature based correlations for the heat and mass transfer were used to support the genetic algorithm in finding the best compromise between flow resistance and pollutant abatement.
Technical Paper

Crash Performance of Rtm Composites for Automotive Applications

This paper describes the experimental activity carried out at Aerospace Engineering Department of Politecnico di Milano about energy absorption capability of glass-epoxy RTM specimens, representative of automotive crash front structure sub-components. After the analysis of some automotive crashworthiness aspects, especially relevant to the structural adoption of composite materials, the specimen used and the technological route to produce them are described. Then experimental arrangements, test procedure and measurement technique, relevant to static and crash test are presented. Finally test results, reported in the form of numerical values, diagrams and high-velocity films are shown and critically commented.
Technical Paper

Effects of Fuel Temperature and Ambient Pressure on a GDI Swirled Injector Spray

The effects of fuel temperature on both the geometry and the droplet size and velocity of a GDI swirled injector spray were investigated by means of visualizations and PDA measurements. Isooctane was used as model fuel and was injected in a quiescent bomb at injection pressure of 7 MPa. Bomb pressure ranged from 40 kPa to 800 kPa with injector nozzle temperature ranging from 293 K to 393 K. A drastic change in spray geometry was observed when conditions above the vaporization curve were reached. The temperature increase has two macroscopic effects on the spray geometry: at the nozzle exit the liquid flash boiling strongly enlarges the spray angle, at a certain distance from the nozzle the air entrainment collapses the spray. Raising the fuel temperature up to flash boiling conditions causes a significant decrease of the average droplet size.