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Technical Paper

Solar Prototype for Shell-Eco Marathon Race

2017-03-28
2017-01-1260
Apollo is the name of a solar prototype vehicle of Politecnico di Milano (Technical University of Milan) that has been conceived and employed for the Shell Eco-marathon® Europe competition (SEM). The paper introduces the concept design, the detailed design, the construction, the indoor tests, the successful employment at SEM and the end-of-life of the prototype. Apollo is a three-wheeler with a single driving and steering wheel at the rear. A wing with solar cells provides part of the electric energy required for running. The conceptual design started from the accommodation of the driver inside the vehicle. A number of iterations focusing on CFD (computation fluid dynamics) and wind-tunnel tests allowed to refine the total drag to less than 2N at 35 km/h. The tyre characteristic was measured on a drum. The camber of front wheels was set to 4 deg which provided the least rolling resistance.
Technical Paper

Subjective-Objective Ride Comfort Assessment of Farm Tractors

2016-04-05
2016-01-1437
The paper is focused on both the subjective and the objective ride comfort evaluation of farm tractors. The experimental measurement of the relevant accelerations occurring at the tractor body, at the cabin and at the seat was performed on a number of different farm tractors. A subjective rating of the ride comfort level was performed by considering five different drivers. The comfort index was computed according with ISO 2631 and other standards. The acceleration of the seated subject was computed by means of a proper mechanical model of a farm tractor and derived at different positions on the subject body. It turned out that the acceleration of the lower torso was particularly relevant for establishing a matching between the subjective perception and the objective measurement and computation. A number of indices have been derived from the measured data which are able to correlate the subjective driver feeling with the measured accelerations.
Technical Paper

Industry 4.0 and Automotive 4.0: Challenges and Opportunities for Designing New Vehicle Components for Automated and/or Electric Vehicles

2019-04-02
2019-01-0504
The paper deals with the “wise sensorization” of vehicle components. In the upcoming full digitalization of mobility, vehicle components are getting more and more sensorized. The problem is why, what, when and where vehicle components can be sensorized. The paper attempts a preliminary problem statement for the sensorization of vehicle components. A theoretical basic investigation is introduced, setting the main concepts on which extended sensorization is advisable or not. The paradigms of Industry 4.0 and Automotive 4.0 are addressed, namely sensors are proposed to be used both for monitoring the manufacturing process and for monitoring the service life of the component. In general, sensors are proposed to be used for multiple purposes. Two examples of sensorized components are briefly presented. One refers to a sensorized electric motor, the other one refers to a sensorized wheel.
Technical Paper

Lightweight Seat Design and Crash Simulations

2015-04-14
2015-01-1472
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

Instrumented Steering Wheel for Accurate ADAS Development

2019-04-02
2019-01-1241
We introduce in this paper a new Instrumented Steering Wheel (ISW) for ADAS development. The ISW has been designed, constructed and employed with satisfactory results. The ISW is able to measure three forces, three moments and the grip force at each hand of the driver. The ISW has been used for ADAS activities on an instrumented road vehicle. The aim was to use both the vehicle states and the ISW data for evaluating the driver behaviour. Two research activities were performed. The first activity refers to monitoring the driver behaviour during tests on a track. The second activity refers to the use of haptic ISWs, able to improve the ADAS systems. Referring to the first activity, the greatest majority of drivers applied always the same sequence of forces (pull, radial, tangential) either during emergency manoeuvres, either during slow speed curving.
Technical Paper

A Review of the State of the Art of Electric Traction Motors Cooling Techniques

2018-04-03
2018-01-0057
This paper provides a review on state-of-art modern cooling systems employed for thermal cooling of electric motors for vehicle applications. In recent years, the pursue of a more sustainable and ecofriendly mobility has pushed the research towards the development of electric vehicle powertrain systems. Besides the evident advantages of the adoption of electric traction systems in terms of pollution and efficiency, the need of an effective cooling system for the electric machine components gained more and more importance in order to maintain high efficiency and ensure high durability. In fact, it is known that high temperatures can be harmful for the electric motor: besides the evident damages for mechanical parts, the influence on the permanent magnet properties is not negligible [1] [2]. In this fast-evolving environment, different solutions for the thermal problem have been researched and adopted, each one with its own pros and cons.
Technical Paper

Lightweight Design of a Racing Motorcycle Wheel

2016-04-05
2016-01-1576
Mass minimization is a key objective for the design of racing motorcycle wheels. The structural optimization of a front motorcycle wheel is presented in the paper. Topology Optimization has been employed for deriving optimized structural layouts. The minimum compliance problem has been solved, symmetry and periodicity constraints have been introduced. The wheel has been optimized by considering several loading conditions. Actual loads have been measured during track tests by means of a special measuring wheel. The forces applied by the tire to the rim have been introduced in an original way. Different solutions characterized by different numbers of spokes have been analyzed and compared. The actual racing wheel has been further optimized accounting for technological constraints and the mass has been reduced down to 2.9 kilograms.
Journal Article

Optimal Robust Design Optimization with Application to a Piezoelectric Brake

2008-10-12
2008-01-2554
A robust optimization approach has been applied to the design of a piezoelectric brake. The force generated by the piezoelectric actuator is transmitted to the pad shoe through a lever. The optimal design of the lever is crucial for obtaining the desired performance of the brake. Increasing the stiffness and reducing the mass of the lever is the key problem for such kind of mechatronic brake. A trade off between mass and stiffness of the lever must be obtained. Multi-objective programming (MOP) has been applied in order to achieve the best compromise. In addition to MOP, the optimal robust design method has been applied to perform the optimal design not only by considering the performance of the system (the stiffness and mass of the lever) but also by taking into account the robustness (the sensitivity to the uncertain system parameters).
Journal Article

Test Rig for Characterization of Automotive Suspension Systems

2008-04-14
2008-01-0692
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.
Journal Article

Theoretical/Experimental Study on the Vibrations of a Car Engine

2008-04-14
2008-01-1211
The influence of the inertia properties (mass, centre of gravity location, and inertia tensor) on the dynamic behaviour of the engine-gearbox system of a car is studied in this paper, devoting particular attention to drivability and comfort. The vibration amplitudes and the natural frequencies of the engine-gearbox system have been considered. Additionally, the loads transmitted to the car body have been taken into account. Both the experimental and the theoretical simulations confirmed that the engine-gearbox vibrations in the range 10 - 15 Hz are particularly sensitive to slight variation of the inertia properties. The effects on engine-gearbox vibrations due to half-axles, exhaust system, pipes and inner engine-gearbox fluids have been highlighted.
Journal Article

Race Motorcycle Smart Wheel

2015-04-14
2015-01-1520
A wheel able to measure the generalized forces at the hub of a race motorcycle has been developed and used. The wheel has a very limited mass. It is made from magnesium with a special structure to sense the forces and provide the required level of stiffness. The wheel has been tested both indoor for preliminary approval and on the track. The three forces and the three moments acting at the hub can be measured with a resolution of 1N and 0.3Nm respectively. A specifically programmed DSP (Digital Signal Processor) embedded in the sensor allows real-time acquisition and processing of the six signals of forces/torques components. The signals are sent via Bluetooth to an onboard receiver connected to the vehicle CAN (Controller Area Network) bus. Each signal is sampled at 200Hz. The wheel can be used to derive the actual tyre characteristics or to record the loads acting at the hub.
Journal Article

Friction Estimation at Tire-Ground Contact

2015-04-14
2015-01-1594
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.
Journal Article

Accelerated Testing of Brake Hoses for Durability Assessment

2017-03-28
2017-01-0389
The durability performance of brake hoses is a crucial issue for such components. Accelerated fatigue testing of brake hoses is necessary for understanding achievable lifetime, actually computation of durability is quite cumbersome due to the many different materials the hoses are made from. Despite SAE standards are available, accelerated testing of brake hoses subject to actual torsional and bending stresses seem important to provide relevant feedback to designers. In this paper, an innovative methodology for assessing the fatigue behavior of brake hoses of road vehicles is proposed. A dynamic testbed is specifically designed and realized, able to reproduce the actual assembly conditions of the hoses fitted into a vehicle suspension. The designed testbed allows to replicate actual loading conditions on the brake hoses by simulating the vertical dynamics and steering of the suspension system together with brake pressure.
Journal Article

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

2012-04-16
2012-01-0765
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.
Journal Article

Bifurcation Analysis of a Car Model Running on an Even Surface - A Fundamental Study for Addressing Automomous Vehicle Dynamics

2017-03-28
2017-01-1589
The paper deals with the bifurcation analysis of a simple mathematical model describing an automobile running on an even surface. Bifurcation analysis is adopted as the proper procedure for an in-depth understanding of the stability of steady-state motion of cars (either cornering or running straight ahead). The aim of the paper is providing the fundamental information for inspiring further studies on vehicle dynamics with or without a human driver. The considered mechanical model of the car has two degrees of freedom, nonlinear tire characteristics are included. A simple driver model is introduced. Experimental validations of the model are produced. As a first step, bifurcation analysis is performed without driver (fixed control). Ten different combinations of front and rear tire characteristics (featuring understeer or oversteer automobiles) are considered. Steering angle and speed are varied. Many different dynamical behaviors of the model are found.
Technical Paper

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

2014-04-01
2014-01-1977
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

Evolution of the Ride Comfort of Alfa Romeo Cars since 1955 until 2005

2017-03-28
2017-01-1484
The ride comfort of three Alfa Romeo cars, namely Giulietta (1955), Alfetta (1972) and 159 (2005) has been assessed both objectively and subjectively. The three cars belong to the same market segment. The aim is to let young engineers or graduate students understand how technology has evolved and eventually learn a lesson from the assessed trend. A number of cleats have been fixed at the ground and the three cars have traversed such uneven surface. The objective assessment of the ride comfort has been performed by means of accelerometers fixed at the seat rails, additionally a special dummy developed at Politecnico di Milano has been employed. The subjective assessment has been performed by a panel of passengers. The match between objective and subjective ratings is very good. Simple mathematical models have been employed to establish a (successful) comparison between experimental and computational results. The ride comfort differs substantially among the cars.
Technical Paper

Suspension Systems: Some New Analytical Formulas for Describing the Dynamic Behavior

2018-04-03
2018-01-0554
The paper presents some new and unreferenced analytical formulae describing the dynamic behaviour of the suspension system of road or off-road vehicles. The quarter car model (2 degrees of freedom) is considered, the suspension can be either passive or active. Passive suspensions can be simplified as the spring-damper combination or the spring-damper combination with an additional in series spring (representing, e.g., the rubber bushing at the top of a McPherson strut or the rubber bushing at the end joints of the damper). The mathematical system is linear and the excitation is given by a random stationary and ergodic process. The standard deviations in analytical form are given referring to, respectively, the vehicle body acceleration, the relative displacement between sprung and unsprung mass, and the force at the ground. The so called invariant points of the frequency response functions are derived for both active and passive suspension.
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