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Technical Paper

Development of Rain Sensor for Automatic Wiper System

One of the key elements of vehicle safety requires a constantly uninterrupted visible view especially during unexpected weather conditions. Our present development of a light reflection type rain sensor is a key device of our automatic windshield wiper system. The design concept of the sensor is based on the quantification on both detected rainfalls and wiping modes in order to match the wiping mode in an operator's mind by optimizing the optical sensing system and establishing an algorithm for controlling wiping. In addition, auto-initialization of the system has been achieved first in the world.
Technical Paper

A Human Factors Analysis of Optical Distortion for Automotive Windshields

A very difficult problem exists regarding windshield shape, and that is to create a balance between aerodynamics and optical distortion. To assist in solving this problem, this study, concerning the characteristics of visual perception for the optical distortion when drivers receive visual information through a windshield, was carried out. In this study, the windshield area was divided into 4 zones from the viewpoints of the level of drivers' fixation frequency and types of objects observed. Distortion was defined as the gap angle ( distortion angle ), which crossed the lines of a grid board with and without a windshield, and distortion angles were measured on a total of 4 windshields. Four drivers indicated areas in each windshield in which they felt the area was distorted. As a result, the thresholds of optical distortion were shown as a function of the horizontal and vertical distortion angles by discriminatory analysis.
Technical Paper

A Multiplexing Communication IC for Automotive Body-Electronic Control

In the field of automotive body electronic control such as control of door locks, power windows, and wipers, there is a growing need of multiplexing communication to reduce the amount of wire harnesses. To meet this need, we developed a multiplexing communication protocol particularly suited to the body electronic control. Based on the developed protocol, we designed a communication control IC and a simple driver/receiver circuit with a few discrete components. The bus access method of the communication is the CSMA/CD with nondestructive bit arbitration, and its bit rate is 5 kbps. Its transmission media is a single wire. The communication IC has a multiplexing control block and a serial I/O block for an interface with a host CPU. It was fabricated using CMOS technology and has a chip of 2.6mm x 3.0mm in size that contains about 5,000 transistors. The driver/receiver circuit consists of one transistor, one capacitor and several resistors.
Technical Paper

Development of Painted Super Olefin Bumper Recycling Technology

In automotive plastic parts, bumpers are rather bigger parts and easy to be detached. And there is growing need to develop bumpers recycling technology. Now we developed the recycling technology for waste painted Super Olefin Polymer (SOP) bumpers from car dealers in production. This technology consists of discriminating from the repair in market by dyeing, and of melting SOP resin and hydrolysis of the paint film which are carried out simultaneously in a twin-screw extruder Reactive Processing System.
Technical Paper

Concurrent CFD Analysis for Development of Rear Spoiler for Hatchback Vehicles

Airflow effect is one of the important functions demanded of a rear spoiler. It helps prevent mud or dust from swirling up behind the running vehicle, or in the case of driving in the rain or snow, helps prevent rain or snow from adhering to the rear window. During the design process, we often decide on the shape of a spoiler in a relatively short time, focusing primarily on its appearance. Therefore, we established a design method using the recently developed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to determine the central cross sectional shape of a spoiler that produces a desired airflow effect. We verified its effectiveness through testing.
Technical Paper

Prediction of the Life of CVJ Boot in Design Stage and Establishment of an Optimal Design Method with FEA

In a stage of designing a CVJ boot, analytic conditions of FEA method are established so that values calculated with the FEA method coincide with the actually measured values. This has made it possible to predict the life of the boot under bench testing. Furthermore, the boot field life can also be predicted by the minor rule based on the joint-angle frequencies of a vehicle. As a result, it has become possible to determine an optimal configuration in the design stage and to decrease the number of test cycles, resulting in reduced development lead time.
Technical Paper

Development of Magnesium Steering Wheel

This paper describes the development of one-piece die cast magnesium steering wheel frame for a steering wheel incorporating an air bag system. The light weight magnesium frame was designed to have proper stiffness, strength and characteristics of energy absorption. Magnesium alloys with various aluminum contents were tested, and AM60B alloy was selected because of its favorable properties of strength and elongation. New manufacturing techniques, for example, a vacuum hot chamber die casting system and a surface defect inspection system were developed in order to produce high quality castings. The characteristics of energy absorption were evaluated in the laboratory and on actual vehicle crash test, and the results were satisfactory. The magnesium steering wheel frame is about 45% (550g) lighter than the steel one. It has been in production in Toyota passenger cars with driver side air bags.
Technical Paper

A Simulation Method of Rear Axle Gear Noise

A new experimental method, that enables to estimate the body and driveline sensitivity to unit transmitting error of a hypoid gear for automotive rear axle gear noise, has been developed. Measurements were made by exciting the tooth of the drive-pinion gear and that of the ring gear separately using the special devices designed with regard to simulation of acceleration and deceleration. The characteristic of this method is to estimate the forces at the contact point of the gears. Estimation of these forces is carried out under the condition that the higher stiffness is provided by the tooth of the drive-pinion gear and that of the ring gear, compared with the stiffness of the driveshafts and that of the propeller shaft etc., and relative angular displacement of the torsional vibration between the teeth of the drive-pinion gear and those of the ring gear is constant.
Technical Paper

Measuring System of Transient Temperature Distribution on the Brake Disc Rotor

A system to measure transient temperature distribution on the brake disc rotor at high speed braking has been developed and its measuring principle and configuration were discussed in this paper. This system consists of two revolution sensors and two sets of optical fiber array, photoelectric elements, and microprocessor, which fiber array is so arranged that it faces the brake disc rotor. This new system has the following features: (1) Measuring is made using a visible radiation wavelength range for red hot temperatures higher than 550°C.
Technical Paper

Development of Galvanized Aluminum Alloy Sheet for Body Panels with an Excellent Filiform Corrosion Resistance

Filiform corrosion phenomenon and its prevention method for 5000 series aluminum alloy sheet have been investigated. The painted aluminum alloy sheets were subject significantly to filiform corrosion caused by formation of a mottled and coarse zinc phosphate film during chemical conversion process. On the other hand, galvanized aluminum alloy sheet showed an uniform and fine phosphate film in a brief time and the filiform corrosion resistance was improved markedly. The test results of press-forming and corrosion for the prototype engine hoods made of this newly developed galvanized sheets have revealed a good formability and an excellent filiform corrosion resistance.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Sintered Silicon Nitride Grinding Damage

Sintered silicon nitride, particularly in structural ceramics, has superior properties such as low weight, heat resistance, wear resistance, etc. It is already being applied to automobile engine parts such as the swirl chamber and the turbine rotor. In recent years, the strength of silicon nitride has shown to be above 1000MPa. This has been achieved through advances in manufacturing technology such as materials powder, forming, sintering and so on. But the silicon nitride is easily damaged during grinding because it has less fracture toughness than metal. Consequently, the inherent strength of the material is not demonstrated in the actual products presently produced. It is assumed that the main cause of strength reduction is microcrack. In ordinary grinding methods, the length of microcrack has been estimated at approximately twenty micrometers by fracture mechanics analysis.
Technical Paper

Prediction of the Airflow Through Automotive Radiators Using 3-Dimensional Analysis

Air flow around a car front end configuration and through the radiator and condenser was computed simultaneously. Although the engine compartment was simplified to reduce computational cost, comparison of experimental data with the analysis showed excellent prediction of the air flow through the radiator and condenser.
Technical Paper

Development of Liquid Crystal Day and Night Mirror for Automobiles

The liquid crystal day & night mirror with excellent reflective characteristics has been developed. The day & night mirror using Guest-Host liquid crystal devices improves the performance of rear view mirrors. Effects of primary factors on reflective characteristics of the liquid crystal day & night mirror have been investigated. Results are as follows. (1) The reflective characteristics at wavelength of about 555 nm are important for the selection of liquid crystals and dichroic dyes. (2) The reflective characteristics are improved by decreasing the reflectivity of glass substrate. (3) The reflective characteristics are improved by increasing the reflectivity of reflector.
Technical Paper

Development of Super Olefin Bumper for Automobiles

The EMT (Elastomer Modified Thermoplastics) currently used in passenger car bumper fascia are limited in retaining low CLTE (Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion) and impact resistance, although they are highly rigid, which allows a reduction in weight, and also have high flowability during injection molding. We have developed a new bumper material called “Super Olefin Polymer” using a unique theory based upon a reversal of the current concept. The current polymer design concept of the EMT material is to compound and disperse the EPR (Ethylene Propylene Rubber) into the resin matrix such as polypropylene. We reversed the domain and the matrix, and treated the resin phase as the filler and the elastomer phase as the matrix.
Technical Paper

Development of Propeller Shaft with a New Nylon Coating

In the present social environment, automobile demands further reduction of fuel consumption and light weight. Now that the reduction of vehicle weight is being pursued, even a slight looseness in each element of an automobile may become a source of vibration and noise due to the lowered rigidity of such an automobile. The quietness of vehicles is urged, spline backlash in the spline mechanism exhibits a problem in some cases. A propeller shaft, a part of the automobile driving system, also has a sliding spline mechanism as shown in Fig. 1. Such a propeller shaft is required to have functions of transmitting high torque driving forces, and absorbing the variation of the vehicle driveline overall length at the same time. Vibration and noise are apt to occur if when torque is applied, there is a significant balance fluctuation or great sliding resistance due to spline backlash.
Technical Paper

Lateral Shake Analysis of Open Top Cars

This paper analyzes the vibration of open-top cars known as lateral shake. The characteristics of the phenomenon were identified by means of road tests and a test method called the shake test was devised to reproduce these characteristics in order that the respective roles of the suspension, body and engine could be determined. On the basis of the analysis findings, a simple but practical simulation model was realized and used to investigate various methods of reducing lateral shake. The simulations indicated that although changing the natural frequency of the suspension has little effect, increasing the natural torsional frequency of the body and/or utilizing the engine as a dynamic damper results in a significant improvement. Further experiments conclusively demonstrated that by optimizing the body structure in accordance with FEM analysis results and optimizing the spring constant of the engine mounts, the level of lateral shake can be halved.
Technical Paper

Damping Analysis of Body Panels for Vehicle Interior Noise Reduction

Damping materials are used to control vehicle noise and vibration. This paper discusses techniques to design effective vibration damping treatments. Vibration and damping characteristics of vehicle panels with viscoelastic layers have been investigated. As a result of the investigation, new parameters have been contrived. Applying the parameters to basic theories, it has become possible to estimate the damping efficiency of complicated body panels and to design the panel structures to maximize the damping effect. Criteria for the determination of the body panel specifications and methods to control resonant frequencies of vehicle panels are also presented. This paper concludes with applications of the damping techniques to reduce interior noise.
Technical Paper

Recent Developments in Vehicle Interior Noise Reduction

In order to reduce the interior noise of a vehicle with a four-cylinder engine, investigations were made using finite element and vector methods, acoustic intensity testing and holography technique. The investigation resulted in inclination of the engine mounting, design changes to the front suspension member, a shock absorber engine mounting, structural modifications to reduce body panel vibration and a new engine mounting to insulate high frequency engine vibration.
Technical Paper

Effect of Dimensional Factors on the Life of Rzeppa Universal Joint

Certain dimensional factors and a method for evaluating dimensional errors have been developed to improve the service life of the Rzeppa universal joint. The Rzeppa joint Spalling life is extended by disposition of the balls on a constant velocity plane under loading conditions which include proper determination of the offsets of the ball grooves and the windows of the cage. The ball center containment ranges, which consist of the grooves of both inner and outer races, can be affected by dimensional miscalculation of components. Moreover, the extent of scatter in the ball center containment ranges has a remarkable effect on the Rzeppa joint service life.
Technical Paper

Plasma Treatment for Painting of Polypropylene Bumper

The colour painting of polypropylene bumpers has required development of a new polypropylene surface treatment which provides improved adhesion of the paint film to polypropylene. According to the results of various improvement studies on the application of plasma treatment, it has been discovered that surface treatment by means of plasma of an oxygen and nitrogen gas mixture activated by microwave (2,450 MHz) provides a remarkable improvement in adhesion. Furthermore, establishing a technique to diffuse plasma effectively within the treatment chamber has enabled a uniform surface treatment of several polypropylene bumpers formed in large and complicated shapes.