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Technical Paper

Dynamic Tests of Racing Seats and Simulation with Vedyac Code

Dynamic tests have been performed on carbon fiber racing seats following the FIA regulations. The tests have shown, in rear impact tests, a relatively strong rebound leading to large forward bending of neck, and, in side impact tests, very large lateral displacement of the head, the latter protruding dangerously towards hard portions of the car structure. Stiffening the seat back by steel struts results in reducing strongly both the motion and the acceleration of the head. Simulations of the dynamics of the tests have been done with multi-body models, including the Hybrid III dummy and seat deflection, by means of the program VEDYAC. It has been found that computer simulation can predict very accurately the result of a test, provided the numerical models have been carefully calibrated to match the dummy tolerance bands. Once they have been calibrated and validated with a number of tests, the computer models can be very useful to extend the test results to different test conditions.
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

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.
Technical Paper

Lightweight Seat Design and Crash Simulations

The lightweight seat of a high performance car is designed taking into account a rear impact, i.e. the crash due to an impulse applied from the rear. The basic parameters of the seat structure are derived resorting to simulations of a crash with a test dummy positioned on the seat. The simulations provide the forces acting at the seat structure, in particular the forces applied at the joint between the seat cushion and the seat backrest are taken into account. Such a joint is simulated as a plastic hinge and dissipates some of the crash energy. The simulations are validated by means of indoor tests with satisfactory results. A tool has been developed for the preliminary design of lightweight seats for high performance cars.
Technical Paper

ANNIE, a Tool for Integrating Ergonomics in the Design of Car Interiors

In the ANNIE project - Applications of Neural Networks to Integrated Ergonomics - BE96-3433, a tool for integrating ergonomics into the design process is developed. This paper presents some features in the current ANNIE as applied to the design of car interiors. A variant of the ERGOMan mannequin with vision is controlled by a hybrid system for neuro-fuzzy simulation. It is trained by using an Elite system for registration of movements. An example of a trajectory generated by the system is shown. A fuzzy model is used for comfort evaluation. An experiment was performed to test its feasibility and it showed very promising results.
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

NLMPC for Real Time Path Following and Collision Avoidance

This paper presents a nonlinear control approach to achieve good performances in vehicle path following and collision avoidance when the vehicle is driving under cruise highway conditions. Nonlinear model predictive control (NLMPC) is adopted to achieve online trajectory control based on a simplified vehicle model. GMRES/Continuation algorithm is used to solve the online optimization problem. Simulations show that the proposed controller is capable of tracking the desired path as well as avoiding the obstacles.
Journal Article

Friction Estimation at Tire-Ground Contact

The friction estimation at the tire-ground contact is crucial for the active safety of vehicles. Friction estimation is a key problem of vehicle dynamics and the ultimate solution is still unknown. However the proposed approach, based on a simple idea and on a simple hardware, provides an actual solution. The idea is to compare the tire characteristic at a given friction (nominal characteristic) with the actual characteristic that the tire has while running. The comparison among these two characteristics (the nominal one and the actual one) gives the desired friction coefficient. The friction coefficient is expressed in vector form and a number of running parameters are identified. The mentioned comparison is an efficient but complex algorithm based on a mathematical formulation of the tire characteristic. The actual tire characteristic is somehow measured in real time by a relatively simple smart wheel which is able to detect the three forces and the three moments acting at the hub.