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Technical Paper

Fuel Permeation Study on Various Seal Materials

The advent of low emission regulations on fuel systems has made conventional sealing materials such as acry-lonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) unfit for sealing most fuel systems. Therefore, it is imperative to look beyond conventional rubbers and towards more exotic materials to seal such applications. In this study, the permeation characteristics and the change in physical properties of several elastomeric materials (NBR, hydrogenated NBR (HNBR), and fluorocarbon elastomers (FKM)) as well as various poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) composites were evaluated with four different fuel mixtures. The sealing materials were tested using vaporimeter cups. The results are discussed as a function of the materials' nature, composition, and filler content.
Technical Paper

Can Semiactive Dampers with Skyhook Control Improve Roll Stability of Passenger Vehicles?

Skyhook control has been used extensively for semiactive dampers for a variety of applications, most widely for passenger vehicle suspensions. This paper provides an experimental evaluation of how well skyhook control works for improving roll stability of a passenger vehicle. After discussing the formulation for various semiactive control methods that have been suggested in the past for vehicle suspensions, the paper includes the implementation of a semiactive system with magneto-rheological (MR) dampers on a sport utility vehicle. The vehicle is used for a series of road tests that includes lane change maneuvers, with different types of suspensions. The suspensions that are tested include the stock suspension, the uncontrolled MR dampers, skyhook control, and a new semiactive control method called “SIA skyhook.” The SIA Skyhook augments the conventional skyhook control with steering input, in order to account for the suspension requirements during a lateral maneuver.
Technical Paper

A Frequency Analysis of Semiactive Control Methods for Vehicle Application

The performance of five different skyhook control methods is studied experimentally, using a quarter-car rig. The control methods that are analyzed include: skyhook control, groundhook control, hybrid control, displacement skyhook, and relative displacement skyhook. Upon evaluating the performance of each method in frequency domain for various control conditions, they are compared with each other as well as with passive damping. The results indicate that no one control method outperforms other control methods at both the sprung and unsprung mass natural frequencies. Each method can perform better than the other control methods in some respect. Hybrid control, however, comes close to providing the best compromise between different dynamic demands on a primary suspension. The results indicate that hybrid control can offer benefits to both the sprung and unsprung mass with control gain settings that provide equal contributions from skyhook control and groundhook control.
Technical Paper

Upper Extremity Interaction With a Helicopter Side Airbag: Injury Criteria for Dynamic Hyperextension of the Female Elbow Joint

This paper describes a three part analysis to characterize the interaction between the female upper extremity and a helicopter cockpit side airbag system and to develop dynamic hyperextension injury criteria for the female elbow joint. Part I involved a series of 10 experiments with an original Army Black Hawk helicopter side airbag. A 5th percentile female Hybrid III instrumented upper extremity was used to demonstrate side airbag upper extremity loading. Two out of the 10 tests resulted in high elbow bending moments of 128 Nm and 144 Nm. Part II included dynamic hyperextension tests on 24 female cadaver elbow joints. The energy source was a drop tower utilizing a three-point bending configuration to apply elbow bending moments matching the previously conducted side airbag tests. Post-test necropsy showed that 16 of the 24 elbow joint tests resulted in injuries.
Technical Paper

Analysis of upper extremity response under side air bag loading

Computer simulations, dummy experiments with a new enhanced upper extremity, and small female cadaver experiments were used to analyze the small female upper extremity response under side air bag loading. After establishing the initial position, three tests were performed with the 5th percentile female hybrid III dummy, and six experiments with small female cadaver subjects. A new 5th percentile female enhanced upper extremity was developed for the dummy experiments that included a two-axis wrist load cell in addition to the existing six-axis load cells in both the forearm and humerus. Forearm pronation was also included in the new dummy upper extremity to increase the biofidelity of the interaction with the handgrip. Instrumentation for both the cadaver and dummy tests included accelerometers and magnetohydrodynamic angular rate sensors on the forearm, humerus, upper and lower spine.
Technical Paper

A Simplified Battery Model for Hybrid Vehicle Technology Assessment

The objective of this work is to provide a relatively simple battery energy storage and loss model that can be used for technology screening and design/sizing studies of hybrid electric vehicle powertrains. The model dynamic input requires only power demand from the battery terminals (either charging or discharging), and outputs internal battery losses, state-of-charge (SOC), and pack temperature. Measured data from a vehicle validates the model, which achieves reasonable accuracy for current levels up to 100 amps for the size battery tested. At higher current levels, the model tends to report a higher current than what is needed to create the same power level shown through the measured data. Therefore, this battery model is suitable for evaluating hybrid vehicle technology and energy use for part load drive cycles.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Design Analysis and Validation for the Equinox REVLSE E85 Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2005 - 2007 Challenge X advanced technology vehicle competition series, sponsored by General Motors Corporation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Argonne National Lab. This report documents the Equinox REVLSE (Renewable Energy Vehicle, the Larsen Special Edition) design and specifies how it meets the Vehicle Technical Specifications (VTS) set by Challenge X and HEVT through simulation and test results. The report also documents the vehicle control development process, specifies the control code generation, demonstrates an analysis of hybrid powertrain losses, and presents the REVLSE vehicle balance in its intended market.
Technical Paper

Predicting Driving Postures and Seated Positions in SUVs Using a 3D Digital Human Modeling Tool

3D digital human modeling (DHM) tools for vehicle packaging facilitate ergonomic design and evaluation based on anthropometry, comfort, and force analysis. It is now possible to quickly predict postures and positions for drivers with selected anthropometry based on ergonomics principles. Despite their powerful visual representation technology for human movements and postures, these tools are still questioned with regard to the validity of the output they provide, especially when predictions are made for different populations. Driving postures and positions of two populations (i.e. North Americans and Koreans) were measured in actual and mock-up SUVs to investigate postural differences and evaluate the results provided by a DHM tool. No difference in driving postures was found between different stature groups within the same population. Between the two populations, however, preferred angles differed for three joints (i.e., ankle, thigh, and hip).
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Laboratory Testing of Truck Cab Suspensions

This work pertains to laboratory testing of truck cab suspensions for the purpose of improving in-cab ride quality. It describes the testing procedure of a complete truck cab suspension while still being mounted on the vehicle. It allows for testing with minimal amount of resources, limited to two mobile actuators and minimal modifications to the stock vehicle. The actuators can be attached to any axle through a set of modified brake drums and excite the drive axle in a vertical plane. The excitation signal sent to the actuators can be in phase for a heave type motion or out of phase for a roll motion. The chassis shock absorbers are replaced with rigid links to prevent the actuator input from becoming filtered by the primary suspension. This allows the input to reach the cab suspension more directly and the cab to be excited across a broader range of frequencies.
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Accounting for Uneven Ride Height in Soft Suspensions with Large Lateral Separation

This study pertains to motion control algorithms using statistical calculations based on relative displacement measurements, in particular where the rattle space is strictly limited by fixed end-stops and a load leveling system that allows for roll to go undetected by the sensors. One such application is the cab suspension of semi trucks that use widely-spaced springs and dampers and a load leveling system that is placed between the suspensions, near the center line of the cab. In such systems it is possible for the suspension on the two sides of the vehicle to settle at different ride heights due to uneven loading or the crown of the road. This paper will compare the use of two moving average signals (one positive and one negative) to the use of one root mean square (RMS) signal, all calculated based on the relative displacement measurement.
Technical Paper

A Multi-Modality Image Data Collection Protocol for Full Body Finite Element Model Development

This study outlines a protocol for image data collection acquired from human volunteers. The data set will serve as the foundation of a consolidated effort to develop the next generation full-body Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models for injury prediction and prevention. The geometry of these models will be based off the anatomy of four individuals meeting extensive prescreening requirements and representing the 5th and 50th percentile female, and the 50th and 95th percentile male. Target values for anthropometry are determined by literature sources. Because of the relative strengths of various modalities commonly in use today in the clinical and engineering worlds, a multi-modality approach is outlined. This approach involves the use of Computed Tomography (CT), upright and closed-bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and external anthropometric measurements.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Traumatic Brain Injuries Using the Next Generation of Simulated Injury Monitor (SIMon) Finite Element Head Model

The objective of this study was to investigate potential for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) using a newly developed, geometrically detailed, finite element head model (FEHM) within the concept of a simulated injury monitor (SIMon). The new FEHM is comprised of several parts: cerebrum, cerebellum, falx, tentorium, combined pia-arachnoid complex (PAC) with cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), ventricles, brainstem, and parasagittal blood vessels. The model's topology was derived from human computer tomography (CT) scans and then uniformly scaled such that the mass of the brain represents the mass of a 50th percentile male's brain (1.5 kg) with the total head mass of 4.5 kg. The topology of the model was then compared to the preliminary data on the average topology derived from Procrustes shape analysis of 59 individuals. Material properties of the various parts were assigned based on the latest experimental data.
Technical Paper

Avoiding the Pitfalls in Motorsports Data Acquisition

Restrictions on track testing, combined with advances in technology, have contributed to an increased dependence on sensors and data acquisition for diagnosing problems and improving performance in motorsports vehicles. This dependence has created a new set of challenges for race engineers to collect quality data from a vehicle at the track. Successful 7- or 8-post shaker rig testing is highly dependent on the quality of the data acquired at the track. An improperly configured data acquisition system can actually be worse than a faulty sensor. This paper highlights a few of the most common problems in motorsports data acquisition: aliasing and sample rate selection. The effects of these problems are described for typical suspension sensors such as accelerometers, shock potentiometers, load cells, and laser ride height sensors. An experimental case study is presented to explain the implications of these problems.
Journal Article

Comparison of the Performance of 7-Post and 8-Post Dynamic Shaker Rigs for Vehicle Dynamics Studies

This paper documents a simple theoretical analysis and an experimental performance comparison of the advantages of an 8-post shaker rig relative to a conventional 7-post shaker rig. A simple static model describing the chassis roll and warp characteristics is first presented to illustrate the differences between 7-post and 8-post configurations, and the conditions where an additional aeroloader provides an advantage. Using a late model NASCAR Sprint Cup car, a series of experimental tests were conducted with the 8-post shaker rig at the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER) facility in both 7-post and 8-post configurations. Experimental results confirm the hypothesis that an 8-post configuration is able to more accurately reproduce target motions of the chassis and suspension when those motions include a chassis warp condition.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity of Preferred Driving Postures and Determination of Core Seat Track Adjustment Ranges

With advances in virtual prototyping, accurate digital modeling of driving posture is regarded as a fundamental step in the design of ergonomic driver-seat-cabin systems. Extensive work on driving postures has been carried out focusing on the measurement and prediction of driving postures and the determination of comfortable joint angle ranges. However, studies on postural sensitivity are scarce. The current study investigated whether a driver-selected posture actually represents the most preferred one, by comparing the former with ratings of postures selected at 20 predefined places around the original hip joint center (HJC). An experiment was undertaken in a lab setting, using two distinctive driving package geometries: one for a sedan and the other for an SUV. The 20 postural ratings were compared with that of the initial user-selected position.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Inertia Impact on Fuel Consumption of Conventional and Hybrid Electric Vehicles Using Acceleration and Coast Driving Strategy

In the past few years, the price of petroleum based fuels, especially vehicle fuels such as gasoline and diesel, have been increasing at a significant rate. Consequently, there is much more consumer interest related to reducing fuel consumption of conventional and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The “pulse and glide” (PnG) driving strategy is first applied to a conventional vehicle to quantify the fuel consumption benefits when compared to steady state speed (cruising) conditions over the same time and distance. Then an HEV is modeled and tested to investigate if a hybrid system can further reduce fuel consumption with the proposed strategy. Note that the HEV used in this study has the advantage that the engine can be automatically shut off below a certain speed (∼40 mph, 64 kph) at low loads, however a driver must shut off the engine manually in a conventional vehicle to apply this driving strategy.
Technical Paper

Development of Auditory Warning Signals for Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks occur with sufficient frequency that they are a cause of concern within regulatory agencies. In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks which resulted in 135 fatalities. As part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) goal of reducing the overall number of truck crashes, the Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Researchers also utilized what had been learned in the rear-end crash avoidance work with light vehicles that was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) serving as the prime research organization. ERS crash countermeasures investigated included passive conspicuity markings, visual signals, and auditory signals.
Journal Article

Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes with the use of Rear-Lighting Countermeasures

In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks (i.e., gross vehicle weight greater than 4,536 kg). The Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Visual warnings have been shown to be effective, assuming the following driver is looking directly at the warning display or has his/her eyes drawn to it. A visual warning can be placed where it is needed and it can be designed so that its meaning is nearly unambiguous. FMCSA contracted with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to investigate potential benefit of additional rear warning-light configurations as rear-end crash countermeasures for heavy trucks.
Journal Article

Method for Estimating Time to Collision at Braking in Real-World, Lead Vehicle Stopped Rear-End Crashes for Use in Pre-Crash System Design

This study presents a method for determining the time to collision (TTC) at which a driver of the striking vehicle in a real-world, lead vehicle stopped (LVS) rear-end collision applied the brakes. The method employs real-world cases that were extracted from the National Automotive Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System (NASS / CDS) years 2000 to 2009. Selected cases had an Event Data Recorder (EDR) recovered from the striking vehicle that contained pre-crash vehicle speed and brake application. Of 59 cases with complete EDR records, 12 cases (20%) of drivers appeared not to apply the brakes at all prior to the collision. The method was demonstrated using 47 rear-end cases in which there was driver braking. The average braking deceleration for those cases with sufficient vehicle speed information was found to be 0.52 g's. The average TTC that braking was initiated at was found to vary in the sample population from 1.1 to 1.4 seconds.
Technical Paper

Yaw Stability Control and Emergency Roll Control for Vehicle Rollover Mitigation

In this paper a yaw stability control algorithm along with an emergency roll control strategy have been developed. The yaw stability controller and emergency roll controller were both developed using linear two degree-of-freedom vehicle models. The yaw stability controller is based on Lyapunov stability criteria and uses vehicle lateral acceleration and yaw rate measurements to calculate the corrective yaw moment required to stabilize the vehicle yaw motion. The corrective yaw moment is then applied by means of a differential braking strategy in which one wheel is selected to be braked with appropriate brake torque applied. The emergency roll control strategy is based on a rollover coefficient related to vehicle static stability factor. The emergency roll control strategy utilizes vehicle lateral acceleration measurements to calculate the roll coefficient. If the roll coefficient exceeds some predetermined threshold value the emergency roll control strategy will deploy.