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Technical Paper

A Predictive Design Methodology for Active Top Pads During Airbag Deployment

1999-03-01
1999-01-0688
Using a combination of engineering test experience, explicit finite-element analysis, and advanced materials characterization, a predictive engineering method has been developed that can assist in the development of active top pads. An active top pad is the component of the instrument panel that covers the passenger airbag module and articulates during a crash event, allowing the airbag to deploy. This paper highlights the predictive analysis method, analytical results interpretation, and suggestions for future development.
Technical Paper

Method for Designing and Evaluating Pedestrian Protection Energy Absorbers for Various Car Geometries

2004-03-08
2004-01-1702
This paper discusses a Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) based methodology for designing an injection molded bumper energy absorber to help meet vehicle pedestrian protection requirements. The development process is described, and an example is presented of its use in designing an injection molded energy absorber for a range of various vehicle styling parameters. First, an idealized set-up incorporating the car styling parameters critical for pedestrian protection requirements was developed. Then, the vehicle and Energy Absorber (EA) geometries were parameterized and a DFSS process was employed to investigate the design space using Finite Element Impact Analysis with a commercially available Lower Leg Form Impactor.
Technical Paper

Estimation of Lateral Rail Loads Incurred During Pendulum Impacts

1993-03-01
930536
A technique for estimating the lateral loads exerted on the vehicle frame during centerline pendulum impacts has been developed. These loads can either be determined by sophisticated hand calculations or by using beam finite-element analysis. The loads can either be determined as a fraction of the peak impact load, or as an absolute number. The dependence of the lateral load on frame stiffness, bumper cross-section, and bumper sweep will be shown to be quite dramatic.
Technical Paper

Engineering Development and Performance of an Integrated Structural Instrument Panel Assembly and Heater-Ventilation-Air-Conditioning Assembly

2000-03-06
2000-01-0416
Textron Automotive Trim, Valeo Climate Control, and Torrington Research Company, with assistance from GE Plastics, have developed an integrated instrument panel system to meet ever-increasing industry targets for: Investment and piece-cost reduction; Mass/weight savings; Quality and performance improvements; Packaging and space availability; Government regulation levels; and Innovative technology. This system, developed through feedback with the DaimlerChrysler Corporation, combines the distinctive requirements of the instrument panel (IP) with the heater-ventilation-air-conditioning (HVAC) assembly. Implementing development disciplines such as benchmarking, brainstorming, and force ranking, a number of concepts were generated and evaluated. Using a current-production, small, multi-purpose vehicle environment, a mainstream concept was designed and engineered.
Technical Paper

Engineering Thermoplastic Energy Absorbers for Bumpers

1999-03-01
1999-01-1011
Automotive styling trends point to reduced bumper overhang, greater sweeps, and reduced overall package space for the bumper system. At the same time engineers are charged with improving bumper performance to reduce collision repair costs and enhance occupant safety further. Two key performance parameters for the bumper to meet these conflicting objectives are fast but controlled loading and efficient energy absorption (EA). The majority of today's North American passenger-car bumper systems consist of a reinforcing bar either of steel, aluminum, or composite construction, and an energy absorption media. The most widely used energy-absorber construction is made from an expanded-polypropylene foam (EPP). Honeycomb energy absorbers, which are made from an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer, are also still used on some of today's cars. This paper will address an alternative to the bumper energy absorber systems described above.
Technical Paper

Three-Dimensional Heat Transfer & Thermoelastic Deformation Predictions in Forward Lighting

2000-03-06
2000-01-1396
The thermal performance of an automotive forward-lighting assembly is predicted with a computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) program. A three-dimensional, steady-state heat-transfer model seeks to account for convection and radiation within the enclosure, conduction through the thermoplastic walls and lens, and external convection and radiation losses. The predicted temperatures agree well with experimental thermocouple and infrared data on the housing. Driven by the thermal expansion of the air near the bulb surface, counter-rotating recirculation zones are predicted within the enclosure. The highest temperatures in the plastic components are predicted on the inner surface of the shelf above the bulb where airflow rising from the hot bulb surface impinges.
Technical Paper

Modeling Methodology of Tearseams for Invisible PSIR Systems

2001-03-05
2001-01-0314
Automotive interiors are undergoing rapid transformation with the introduction of invisible PSIR integral systems. This styling trend requires continuous class A surface for the Instrument Panel (IP) and introduces complexities in the design and analysis of PSIR integral systems. The most important criterion for airbag doors is that it must open as intended, at the tearseam, within the deployment temperature range and without fragmentation. Consequently it is imperative that in analytical simulations, the finite element model of the tearseam is accurate. The accuracy of the model is governed by (a) optimal level of refinement, (b) surface geometry representation and (c) material model. This paper discusses modeling methodology for tearseams with respect to mesh refinement and the effect of geometry.
Technical Paper

Conductive Polyphenylene Ether/Polyamide Blend for Saturn Exterior Body Panels

2001-03-05
2001-01-0446
The evolution toward the use of electrostatic painting processes has been driven primarily by environmental legislation and efforts to improve efficiencies in the painting process. The development of conductive substrate material compliments the industry trend toward a green environment through further reductions in emissions of volatile organic compounds during the painting process. Traditionally, electrostatic painting of thermoplastics requires that a conductive primer be applied to the substrate prior to topcoat application. The conductive polymer blend of polyphenylene ether and polyamide provides sufficient conductivity to eliminate usage of conductive primers. Additional benefits include improved transfer efficiencies of the primer and top coat systems, uniform film builds across the part, and improved painting of complex geometries.
Technical Paper

Bumper Systems Designed for Both Pedestrian Protection and FMVSS Requirements

2003-03-03
2003-01-0214
This paper describes a bumper system design that satisfies both current FMVSS legislation as well as the European Enhanced Vehicle Safety Committee (EEVC) requirements for lower leg pedestrian impact protection. The dual performance solution is achieved through a combination of material properties and design. Using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) modeling, the performance of an injection molded energy absorber (EA) was analyzed for pedestrian protection requirements of knee bending angle, knee shear displacement, and tibia acceleration, 4Kph pendulum and barrier impacts (ECE42, FMVSS), and 8Kph pendulum and barrier impacts (CMVSS, FMVSS). The results demonstrate how an injection molded EA using polycarbonate/polybutyelene terephthalate (PC/PBT) resin (Figure 1) can meet both FMVSS and pedestrian safety requirements and can do so within a packaging space typical of today's vehicle styling.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of a Thermoplastic Structural IP

2003-03-03
2003-01-1388
An Instrument Panel (IP) cockpit is one of the most complex vehicle systems, not only because of the large number of components, but also because of the numerous design variations available. The OEM can realize maximum benefit when the IP cockpit is assembled as a module. This requires increased performance attributes including safety, durability, and thermal performance, while meeting styling and packaging constraints, and optimizing the program imperatives of mass and cost. The design concept discussed in this paper consists of two main injection molded parts that are vibration welded to form a stiff structure. The steering column is attached to the cowl and plastic structure by a separate steel column support. The plastic IP structure with integrated ducts is designed and developed to enable the IP cockpit to be a modular system while realizing the benefits of mass and cost reduction.
Technical Paper

Engineering Thermoplastic Energy Absorber Solutions for Pedestrian Impact

2002-03-04
2002-01-1225
This paper will describe an approach to satisfying proposed European Enhanced Vehicle Safety Committee (EEVC) legislation for lower leg pedestrian impact. The solution for lower leg protection is achieved through a combination of material properties and design. Using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) modeling, the performance of an energy absorber (EA) concept was analyzed for knee bending angle, knee shear displacement, and tibia acceleration. The modeling approach presented here includes a sensitivity analysis to first identify key material and geometric parameters, followed by an optimization process to create a functional design. Results demonstrate how an EA system designed with a polycarbonate/polybutyelene terephthalate (PC/PBT) resin blend, as illustrated in Figure 1, can meet proposed pedestrian safety requirements.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Bumper System Response of Engineering Thermoplastic Energy Absorbers with Steel Beams

2002-03-04
2002-01-1228
An efficient energy absorber (EA) will absorb impact energy through a combination of elastic and plastic deformation. However, the EA is typically coupled with a steel reinforcing beam, which can also elastically and plastically deform during an impact event. In order to design and optimize an EA/Beam system that will meet the specified vehicle impact requirements, the response of the entire assembly must be accurately predicted. This paper will describe a finite element procedure and material model that can be used to predict the impact response of a bumper system composed of an injection molded thermoplastic energy absorber attached to a steel beam. The first step in the process was to identify the critical material, geometric, and boundary condition parameters involved in the EA and Beam individually. Next, the two models were combined to create the system model. Actual test results for 8km/hr.
Technical Paper

Managing Thermal Growth for Large Class “A” Polymer Body Panel Closure Systems

2002-03-04
2002-01-0276
The history behind Polymer Class “A” Body Panels for automotive applications is very interesting. The driving factors behind these applications have not changed significantly over the past sixty years. Foremost among these factors is the need for corrosion and dent resistance. Beginning with Saturn in 1990, interest in polymer body panels grew and continues to grow up to the present day, with every new global application. Today, consumers and economic factors drive the industry trend towards plastic body panels. These include increased customization and fuel economy on the consumer side. Economic factors such as lower unit build quantities, reduced vehicle mass, investment cost, and tooling lead times influence material choice for industry. The highest possible performance, and fuel economy, at the lowest price have always been a goal.
Technical Paper

Integrated Energy-Management Systems:Market Trends, OEM Needs, & Business Opportunities for the Tier 1 Community

1998-02-23
980110
Recent vehicle design trends require bumper systems to be crashworthy under more demanding circumstances, e.g. tighter package space, heavier vehicle mass, and wider rail spans. Meanwhile, pressure to reduce cost and weight of bumpers continues at a time when roles in the supplier community are changing. These factors have combined to increase the importance of optimizing bumper design and material properties for specific platforms. Materials suppliers have responded by developing a range of specialized engineering thermoplastic (ETP) resins that can help meet increasing performance requirements yet also offer the potential for improved manufacturing productivity, significant weight savings, and systems cost reductions. Material suppliers have also increased the level of technical design support provided to OEMs and 1st Tier suppliers.
Technical Paper

Design & Development of a Prototype Gas-Assist-Molded Glovebox Door

1998-02-23
980963
The purpose of this paper is to discuss design methodology, manufacturing considerations, and testing proveout for a prototype gas-assist-molded, energy-absorbing, glovebox door program. The design used a single gas pin mounted in a multiple-gas-channel component and an internal gas manifold to form an efficient energy absorbing system. The end goal for the development program was to manufacture a glovebox door in a system that could meet the customer's targets for cost, surface appearance, and safety considerations without degrading function and fit. This paper will discuss the ability of a design methodology to predict actual component performance using engineering calculations, analytical tools, and prototype testing/molding during the development.
Technical Paper

Why Thermoplastic Door Hardware Systems Make Economic Sense Now

1997-02-24
970143
Engineering thermoplastics are widely used in a variety of automotive components systems because of their excellent balance of mechanical performance, design flexibility, aesthetics, parts integration, and low specific gravity. This combination of properties allows for the creation of highly integrated modules, which can increase assembly efficiency and reduce mass, part count, warranty and ergonomic issues, and systems costs. As a result, the use of engineering thermoplastic materials can enhance market competitiveness at a time of increased global competition. To evaluate the economic advantages of polymers in a specific vehicle system, a design for assembly (DFA) case study was conducted with the goal of determining the variable system cost case for a generic thermoplastic door module system vs. conventional-build door systems based on assembly savings gains. This paper will describe the study and show the results achieved.
Technical Paper

Optimizing Parts and Systems Integration with Engineering Thermoplastics to Meet the Challenges of Future Automotive Door Systems

1997-02-24
970144
As automakers struggle to meet often conflicting safety, weight, styling, and performance requirements, engineering thermoplastics (ETPs) are making increasing inroads into applications that once were the exclusive domain of metals, glass, and thermosets. A good example of this is in the door systems area, where the performance, design flexibility, aesthetics, parts integration, and lower specific gravity offered by ETPs are allowing highly integrated and efficient modules to be created that, in turn, increase assembly efficiency and reduce mass, part count, warranty issues, and systems costs. This paper will use several case studies on innovative door hardware modules and door panels to illustrate the advantages offered by this versatile class of engineering materials.
Technical Paper

Determination of Beam Pattern Movement for Engineering Thermoplastic Complex Reflectors

1995-02-01
950830
Complex reflectors -- also known as faceted or optics-in reflectors -- are becoming a popular forward lighting option on passenger vehicles. When optics are located in the reflector, changes in the shape of the reflector due to thermal expansion, stress relaxation, and creep become more critical than with conventional lenses because changes in reflector shape shift the optics, causing beam patterns to move. To assess such movement, complex reflectors molded of injection molded thermoplastics were photometered using an LMT GO1200 gonio-photometer. Isocandela plots were generated at several points in time, and amount of beam pattern movement and pattern brightness changes were calculated. While the results of the study showed that the complex reflectors molded of engineering thermoplastic experienced more beam pattern shift than would be seen with a BMC reflector, a combination of proper material selection and optics design can overcome this movement.
Technical Paper

Abusive Testing of Thermoplastic vs. Steel Bumpers Systems

1998-02-23
980106
Over the last decade, on small- and medium-size passenger cars, a new class of front bumper - injection or blow molded from engineering thermoplastics - has been put into production use. These bumper systems provide full 8-km/hr federal pendulum and flat-barrier impact protection, as well as angled barrier protection. Thermoplastic bumpers, offering weight, cost, and manufacturing advantages over conventional steel bumper systems, also provide high surface finish and styling enhancements. However, there remain questions about the durability and engineering applicability of thermoplastic bumper systems to heavier vehicles. This paper presents results of a preliminary study that examines the durability of thermoplastic bumpers drawn from production lots for much lighter compact, and mid-size passenger cars against baseline steel bumper systems currently used on full-size pickup truck and sport-utility vehicles (SUVs). Bumpers were subjected to U.S.
Technical Paper

First One-Piece, Injection-Molded Thermoplastic Front-Bumper System for a Light Truck

1998-02-23
980107
The first single-piece, injection-molded, thermoplastic, front bumper for a light truck provides improved performance and reduced cost for the 1997 MY Explorer® Ltd. and 1988 MY Mountaineer® truck from Ford Motor Company. Additionally, the system provides improved impact performance, including the ability to pass 5.6 km/hr barrier impact tests without damage. Further, the advanced, 1-piece design integrates fascia attachments, reducing assembly time, and weighs 8.76 kg/bumper less than a baseline steel design. The complete system provides a cost savings vs. extruded aluminum and is competitive with steel bumpers.
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