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Technical Paper

Characterization of Structural, Volume and Pressure Components to Space Suit Joint Rigidity

Gas-pressurized space suits are highly resistive to astronaut movement, and this resistance has been previously explained by volume and/or structural effects. This study proposed that an additional effect, pressure effects due to compressing/expanding the internal gas during joint articulation, also inhibits mobility. EMU elbow torque components were quantified through hypobaric testing. Structural effects dominated at low joint angles, and volume effects were found to be the primary torque component at higher angles. Pressure effects were found to be significant only at high joint angles (increased flexion), contributing up to 8.8% of the total torque. These effects are predicted to increase for larger, multi-axis joints. An active regulator system was developed to mitigate pressure effects, and was found to be capable of mitigating repeated pressure spikes caused by volume changes.
Technical Paper

Thermal Behavior Study on HEV Air-Cooled Battery Pack

Recently, an increased emphasis has been seen for improving the cooling uniformity and efficiency of HEV battery pack in an effort to increase the battery performance and life. This study examined the effects of geometry changes in cooling systems of battery packs on thermal behavior of battery cells and pressure drop across the battery pack. Initially, a multi-physics battery thermal model was correlated to physical test data. An analytical design of experiments (DOE) approach using Latin-hypercube technique was then developed by integrating the correlated battery thermal model with a commercial optimization code, iSIGHT, and a morphing code, DEP Morpher. The design concepts of battery pack cooling systems were finally identified by performing analytical DOE/optimization studies to estimate the effects of cooling flow and geometries of cooling ducts on the battery temperature variation and pressure drop across the battery pack.
Technical Paper

Approach to Validation Plan Development for Advanced Battery Systems in Vehicle Applications

As advanced battery systems become a standard choice for mainstream production vehicle portfolios, comprehensive battery system validation plans are essential to ensure that the battery performance, reliability, and durability targets are met prior to vehicle integration. (Note: Safety and Abuse testing are outside of the scope of this paper.) The validation plan for the Chevrolet Volt Rechargeable_Energy Storage System (RESS), the first lithium-ion battery pack designed and manufactured by General Motors (GM), was developed using a functional silo approach based on the battery design requirements documentation. While the Chevrolet Volt was the lead program at General Motors to use this validation plan development approach, other GM programs with different battery system mounting locations and cooling techniques are now using this method.
Technical Paper

Voltec Battery Design and Manufacturing

In July 2007, GM announced that it would produce the Chevy Volt, the first high-production volume electric vehicle with extended range capability, by 2010. In January 2009, General Motors announced that the Chevrolet Volt's lithium ion Battery Pack, capable of propelling the Chevy Volt on battery-supplied electric power for up to 40 miles, would be designed and assembled in-house. The T-shaped battery, a subset of the Voltec propulsion system, comprises 288 cells, weighs 190 kg, and is capable of supplying over 16 kWh of energy. Many technical challenges presented themselves to the team, including the liquid thermal management of the battery, the fast battery pack development timeline, and validation of an unproven high-speed assembly process. This paper will first present a general overview of the approach General Motors utilized to bring the various engineering organizations together to design, develop, and manufacture the Volt battery.
Journal Article

Development of Liftgate Hinge-to-Roof Sealing Gasket Material for Uncoated Steel Roof Panels

The sealing of a lift gate hinge to the body structure is necessary to avoid both the onset of corrosion and to avoid water intrusion into the interior compartment. The hinge-to-body interface typically involves horizontal metal-to-metal surface contact, creating the perfect environment for moisture entrapment and corrosion initiation. The choice of body panel material (uncoated (bare) steel vs. coated (galvanized) steel) drives different sealing approaches especially when considering corrosion avoidance.
Journal Article

Plug-In Electric Vehicle Charge Time Robustness

With the introduction of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), the conventional mindset of “fill-up time” will be challenged as customers top off their battery packs. For example, using a standard 120VAC outlet, it may take over 10hrs to achieve 40-50 miles of EV range-making range anxiety a daunting reality for EV owners. As customers adapt to this new mindset of charge time, it is critical that automotive OEMs supply the consumer with accurate charge time estimates. Charge time accuracy relies on a variety of parameters: battery pack size, power source, electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), on-board charging equipment, ancillary controller loads, battery temperature, and ambient temperature. Furthermore, as the charging events may take hours, the initial conditions may vary throughout a plug-in charge (PIC). The goal of this paper is to characterize charging system sensitivities and promote best practices for charge time estimations.
Journal Article

AHSS Shear Fracture Predictions Based on a Recently Developed Fracture Criterion

One of the issues in stamping of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) is the stretch bending fracture on a sharp radius (commonly referred to as shear fracture). Shear fracture typically occurs at a strain level below the conventional forming limit curve (FLC). Therefore it is difficult to predict in computer simulations using the FLC as the failure criterion. A modified Mohr-Coulomb (M-C) fracture criterion has been developed to predict shear fracture. The model parameters for several AHSS have been calibrated using various tests including the butter-fly shaped shear test. In this paper, validation simulations are conducted using the modified (M-C) fracture criterion for a dual phase (DP) 780 steel to predict fracture in the stretch forming simulator (SFS) test and the bending under tension (BUT) test. Various deformation fracture modes are analyzed, and the range of usability of the criterion is identified.
Technical Paper

Structural Designs for Electric Vehicle Battery Pack against Ground Impact

Ground impact caused by road debris can result in very severe fire accident of Electric Vehicles (EV). In order to study the ground impact accidents, a Finite Element model of the battery pack structure is carefully set up according to the practical designs of EVs. Based on this model, the sequence of the deformation process is studied, and the contribution of each component is clarified. Subsequently, four designs, including three enhanced shield plates and one enhanced housing box, are investigated. Results show that the BRAS (Blast Resistant Adaptive Sandwich) shield plate is the most effective structure to decrease the deformation of the battery cells. Compared with the baseline case, which adopts a 6.35-mm-thick aluminum sheet as the shield plate, the BRAS can reduce the shortening of cells by more than 50%. Another type of sandwich structure, the NavTruss, can also improve the safety of battery pack, but not as effectively as the BRAS.
Technical Paper

Small Scale Research in Automobile Aerodynamics

This paper describes a three component strain gage balance designed to measure aerodynamic forces exerted on small automobile models when subjected to turbulence in an experimental wind tunnel. The instrument is described and the details of obtaining values with it are fully explained. Although tests were conducted on these models at quarter-scale Reynolds number, results agree closely with similar tests on larger models. The balance makes practical some unusual preliminary investigations before developing full-scale prototypes.
Technical Paper

Driver Visibility: Customer Insights and Metric Development

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in driver visibility. This is, in part, due to increasing emphasis placed on design factors influencing visibility such as: aerodynamics, styling, structural stiffness and vehicle packaging. During the development process of a vehicle, it is important to be able to quantify all of these factors. Visibility, however, owing to its sensory nature, has been harder to quantify. As a result, General Motors (GM) has undertaken a study to gain deeper insight into customer perceptions surrounding visibility. Clinics were conducted to help determine the relative importance of different metrics. The paper also explores several new metrics that can help predict customer satisfaction based on vehicle configuration.
Journal Article

Variable and Fixed Airflow for Vehicle Cooling

This paper describes rationale for determining the apportionment of variable or ‘shuttered’ airflow and non-variable or static airflow through openings in the front of a vehicle as needed for vehicle cooling. Variable airflow can be achieved by means of a shutter system, which throttles airflow through the front end and into the Condenser, Radiator, and Fan Module, (CRFM). Shutters originated early in the history of the auto industry and acted as a thermostat [1]. They controlled airflow as opposed to coolant flow through the radiator. Two benefits that are realized today are aerodynamic and thermal gains, achieved by restricting unneeded cooling airflow. Other benefits exist and justify the use of shutters; however, there are also difficulties in both execution and practical use. This paper will focus on optimizing system performance and execution in terms of the two benefits of reduced aerodynamic drag and reduced mechanical drag through thermal control.
Journal Article

An Analysis of Floating Piston Pin

Presented in the paper is a comprehensive analysis for floating piston pin. It is more challenging because it is a special type of journal bearing where the rotation of the journal is coupled with the friction between the journal and the bearing. In this analysis, the multi-degree freedom mass-conserving mixed-EHD equations are solved to determine the coupled pin rotation and friction. Other bearing characteristics, such as minimum film thickness, pin secondary motions in both connecting-rod small-end bearing and piston pin-boss bearing, power loss etc are also determined. The mechanism for floating pin to have better scuffing resistance is discovered. The theoretical and numerical model is implemented in the GM internal software FLARE (Friction and Lubrication Analysis for Reciprocating Engines).
Journal Article

Aerodynamic Development of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt

This paper presents some of the challenges and successful outcomes in developing the aerodynamic characteristics of the Chevrolet Volt, an electric vehicle with an extended-range capability. While the Volt's propulsion system doesn't directly affect its shape efficiency, it does make aerodynamics much more important than in traditional vehicles. Aerodynamic performance is the second largest contributor to electric range, behind vehicle mass. Therefore, it was critical to reduce aerodynamic drag as much as possible while maintaining the key styling cues from the original concept car. This presented a number of challenges during the development, such as evaluating drag due to underbody features, balancing aerodynamics with wind noise and cooling flow, and interfacing with other engineering requirements. These issues were resolved by spending hundreds of hours in the wind tunnel and running numerous Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analyses.
Journal Article

Adjoint Method for Aerodynamic Shape Improvement in Comparison with Surface Pressure Gradient Method

Understanding the flow characteristics and, especially, how the aerodynamic forces are influenced by the changes in the vehicle body shape, are very important in order to improve vehicle aerodynamics. One specific goal of aerodynamic shape optimization is to predict the local shape sensitivities for aerodynamic forces. The availability of a reliable and efficient sensitivity analysis method will help to reduce the number of design iterations and the aerodynamic development costs. Among various shape optimization methods, the Adjoint Method has received much attention as an efficient sensitivity analysis method for aerodynamic shape optimization because it allows the computation of sensitivity information for a large number of shape parameters simultaneously.
Technical Paper

A Numerical Approach to Evaluate the Aerodynamic Performance of Vehicle Exterior Surfaces

This paper outlines a process to assess the aerodynamic performance of different vehicle exterior surfaces. The initial section of the paper summarizes the details of white-light scanning process that maps entire vehicle to points in Cartesian co-ordinate system which is followed by the conversion of scanned points to theme surface. The concept of point-cloud modeling is employed to generate a smooth theme surface from scanned points. Theme surfaces thus developed are stitched to under-body/under-hood (UB/UH) parts of the base vehicle and the numerical simulations were carried out to understand the aerodynamic efficiency of the surfaces generated. Specifics of surface/volume mesh generated, boundary conditions imposed and numerical scheme employed are discussed in detail. Flow field over vehicle exterior is thoroughly analyzed. A comparison study highlighting the effect of front grilles in unblocked condition along with air-dam on flow field has been provided.
Technical Paper

Parametric Analysis of Resistance Spot Welding Lobe Curve

A linearized lumped parameter heat balance model was developed and is discussed for the general case of resistance welding to see the effects of each parameter on the lobe shape. The parameters include material properties, geometry of electrodes and work piece, weld time and current, and electrical and thermal contact characteristics. These are then related to heat dissipation in the electrodes and the work piece. The results indicate that the ratio of thermal conductivity and heat capacity to electrical resistivity is a characteristic number which is representative of the ease of spot weldability of a given material. The increases in thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the sheet metal increase the lobe width while increases in electrical resistivity decrease the lobe width. Inconsistencies in the weldability of thin sheets and the wider lobe width at long welding times can both be explained by the heat dissipation characteristics.
Technical Paper

A Study of Cycle-to-Cycle Variations in SI Engines Using a Modified Quasi-Dimensional Model

This paper describes the use of a modified quasi-dimensional spark-ignition engine simulation code to predict the extent of cycle-to-cycle variations in combustion. The modifications primarily relate to the combustion model and include the following: 1. A flame kernel model was developed and implemented to avoid choosing the initial flame size and temperature arbitrarily. 2. Instead of the usual assumption of the flame being spherical, ellipsoidal flame shapes are permitted in the model when the gas velocity in the vicinity of the spark plug during kernel development is high. Changes in flame shape influence the flame front area and the interaction of the enflamed volume with the combustion chamber walls. 3. The flame center shifts due to convection by the gas flow in the cylinder. This influences the flame front area through the interaction between the enflamed volume and the combustion chamber walls. 4. Turbulence intensity is not uniform in cylinder, and varies cycle-to-cycle.
Technical Paper

Crashworthiness of Thin Ultra-light Stainless Steel Sandwich Sheets: From the Design of Core Materials to Structural Applications

Thin sandwich sheets hold a promise for widespread use in automotive industry due to their good crash and formability properties. In this paper, thin stainless steel sandwich sheets with low-density core materials are investigated with regard to their performance in crashworthiness applications. The total thickness of the sandwich materials is about 1.2mm: 0.2mm thick facings and a 0.8mm thick sandwich core. Throughout the crushing of prismatic sandwich profiles, the sandwich facings are bent and stretched while the sandwich core is crushed under shear loading. Thus, a high shear crushing strength of the sandwich core material is beneficial for the overall energy absorption of the sandwich profile. It is shown theoretically that the weight specific shear crushing strength of hexagonal metallic honeycombs is higher than the one of fiber cores - irrespective of their relative density or microstructural geometry.
Technical Paper

Effect of Operating Conditions and Fuel Type on Crevice HC Emissions: Model Results and Comparison with Experiments

A one-dimensional model for crevice HC post-flame oxidation is used to calculate and understand the effect of operating parameters and fuel type (propane and isooctane) on the extent of crevice hydrocarbon and the product distribution in the post flame environment. The calculations show that the main parameters controlling oxidation are: bulk burned gas temperatures, wall temperatures, turbulent diffusivity, and fuel oxidation rates. Calculated extents of oxidation agree well with experimental values, and the sensitivities to operating conditions (wall temperatures, equivalence ratio, fuel type) are reasonably well captured. Whereas the bulk gas temperatures largely determine the extent of oxidation, the hydrocarbon product distribution is not very much affected by the burned gas temperatures, but mostly by diffusion rates. Uncertainties in both turbulent diffusion rates as well as in mechanisms are an important factor limiting the predictive capabilities of the model.
Technical Paper

Inverse Method for Measuring Weld Temperatures during Resistance Spot Welding

A new monitoring system predicts the progression of welding temperature fields during resistance spot welding. The system captures welding voltages and currents to predict contact diameters and simulate temperature fields. The system accurately predicts fusion lines and heat-affected zones. Accuracy holds even for electrode tips used for a few thousand welds of zinc coated steels.