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Technical Paper

Investigation of Joint Torque Characteristics for a Mechanical Counter - Pressure Spacesuit

Mechanical counter-pressure (MCP) spacesuit designs have been a promising, but elusive alternative to historical and current gas pressurized spacesuit technology since the Apollo program. One of the important potential advantages of the approach is enhanced mobility as a result of reduced bulk and joint torques, but the literature provides essentially no quantitative joint torque data or quantitative analytical support. Decisions on the value of investment in MCP technology and on the direction of technology development are hampered by this lack of information since the perceived mobility advantages are an important factor. An experimental study of a simple mechanical counter-pressure suit (elbow) hinge joint has been performed to provide some test data and analytical background on this issue to support future evaluation of the technology potential and future development efforts.
Technical Paper

Application of a Knee Injury Criteria for the Hybrid III Dummy to Address a Variety of Car Crash and Restraint Scenarios

Numerous studies have documented that lower extremity injury is second only to the head and face in automotive accidents. Such injuries are common because the lower extremity is typically the first point of contact between the occupant and the car interior. Of all lower extremity injuries, the knee is the most common site of trauma. This typically results from high speed contact with the instrument panel which can produce fracture and subfracture (contusions, lacerations, abrasions) level injuries. Current Federal safety guidelines use a bone fracture criterion which is based solely on a peak load. The criterion states that loads exceeding 10 kN will likely result in gross bone fracture. However, cadaver experiments have shown that increased contact area (via padding) over the knee can significantly increase the amount of load that can be tolerated before fracture or subfracture injury.
Technical Paper

Development of Clean Snowmobile Technology for the 2005 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge

Kettering University's Clean Snowmobile Challenge student design team has developed a new robust and innovative snowmobile for the 2005 competition. This snowmobile dramatically reduces exhaust and noise emissions and improves fuel economy compared with a conventional snowmobile. Kettering University has utilized a modified snowmobile in-line four cylinder, four-stroke, engine. The team added an electronically-controlled fuel-injection system with oxygen sensor feedback to this engine. This engine has been installed into a 2003 Yamaha RX-1 snowmobile chassis. Exhaust emissions have been further minimized through the use of a customized catalytic converter and an electronically controlled closed-loop fuel injection system. A newly designed and tuned exhaust as well as several chassis treatments have aided in minimizing noise emissions.
Technical Paper

Considerations for Rollover Simulation

Rollover crashes are responsible for a significant proportion of traffic fatalities each year, while they represent a relatively small proportion of all motor vehicle collisions. The purpose of this study was to focus on rollover events from an occupant's perspective to understand what type of industry test method, ATD, computer based model, and injury assessment measures are required to provide occupant protection during rollovers. Specific injuries most commonly experienced in rollovers along with the associated injury sources were obtained by review of 1998-2000 NASS-CDS records. These data suggest that models capable of predicting the likelihood of brain injuries, specifically subarachnoid and subdural hemorrhage, are desirable. Ideally, the model should also be capable of predicting the likelihood of rib fractures, lung contusions and shoulder (clavicular and scapular) fractures, and facet, pedicle, and vertebral body fractures in the cervical spine.
Technical Paper

Analysis of a Frontal Impact of a Formula SAE Vehicle

The objective of this study was to determine risk of injury to the driver during a frontal impact in a Formula SAE vehicle. Formula SAE is a collegiate student design competition where every year universities worldwide build and compete with open-wheel formula-style race cars. Formula SAE 2006 rules stipulate the use of an impact attenuator to absorb energy in the event of a frontal impact. These rules mandated an average deceleration not to exceed 20-g from a speed of 7.0 m/s (23 ft/s), but do not specify a specific time or pulse shape of the deceleration. The pulse shapes tested in this study included an early high-g, constant-g, and late high-g pulse. The tests were performed using the deceleration sled at the Kettering University Crash Safety Center. Using industry standard practices, this study examined the driver's risk of injury with regard to neck and femur loads, head and chest accelerations, as well as kinematic analysis using high speed video.
Technical Paper

Development of Clean Snowmobile Technology for Operation on High-Blend Ethanol for the 2008 Clean Snowmobile Challenge

Clean snowmobile technology has been developed using methods which can be applied in the real world with a minimal increase in cost. Specifically, a commercially available snowmobile using a two cylinder, four-stroke engine has been modified to run on high-blend ethanol (E-85) fuel. Additionally, a new exhaust system which features customized catalytic converters and mufflers to minimize engine noise and exhaust emissions has developed. Finally, a number of additional improvements have been made to the track to reduce friction and diminish noise. The results of these efforts include emissions reductions of 94% when compared with snowmobiles operating at the 2012 U.S. Federal requirements.
Technical Paper

Towards A Definition of A Test Methodology for Rollover Resistance and Rollover Performance

A variety of test methodologies currently exist to assess the propensity of a vehicle to roll laterally, the vehicle performance during a rollover event, and the associated risk of injury to the occupant. There are indications as to which tests are appropriate when attempting to replicate rollover events observed in the field. Due to the complexity of a rollover, test repeatability is a concern as well as cost, and field relevance. Since revisions to governmental rollover regulations are currently being considered, an assessment of currently available rollover test methodologies would provide a context to compare the different experimental designs. Additionally, the design of injury prevention strategies such as side air curtains, 4-point belts, etc. will also require the establishment of repeatable, robust, and economical test methods.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Retained Fluid and Humidity on the Evacuation of Critical Vehicle Systems

In automotive assembly facilities worldwide, many critical vehicle systems such as brakes, power steering, radiator, and air conditioning require the appropriate fluid to function. In order to insure that these critical vehicle systems receive the correct amount of properly treated fluid, automotive manufacturers employ a method called Evacuation and Fill. Due to their closed-loop design, many critical vehicle systems must be first exposed to vacuum prior to being flooded with fluid. Only after the evacuation and fill process is complete will the critical vehicle system be able to perform as specified. It has long been thought, but never proven, that humidity and entrenched fluid were major hindrances to the Evacuation and Fill process. Consequently, Ford Motor Company Advanced Manufacturing Technology Development, Sandalwood Enterprises, Kettering University, and Dominion Tool & Die conducted a detailed project on this subject.
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Measurement and Analysis of Head-To- B-Pillar Contact Pressure and Area Response

Government accident statistics show that approximately 35% of all car accident victims suffer an injury to the head and face. Such injuries are common during frontal, side, and rollover accidents as the head may impact the steering wheel, side pillars, windshield, or roof. Further, non-threatening injuries (i.e abrasions) may be suffered due to contact with the deployed airbag, or, in the case of an out-of-position occupant, a deploying airbag. While the forces and accelerations measured internal to the head are known to correlate with serious head injury (i.e. concussion, skull fracture, diffuse axonal injury), it is currently not possible to record how the loads are distributed over the head and face with the current ATD. Ultimately, such data could eventually be used to provide improved resolution as to the probability of superficial, soft tissue damage since past cadaver studies show that the distribution of contact pressures are related to such injuries.
Technical Paper

High Speed Measurement of Contact Pressure and Area during Knee-to-Instrument Panel Impact Events Suffered from Frontal Crashes

Numerous human cadaver impact studies have shown that acute injury to the knee, femoral shaft, and hip may be significantly reduced by increasing the contact area over the anterior surface of the knee. Such impact events are common in frontal crashes when the knee strikes the instrument panel (IP). The cadaveric studies show that the injury threshold of the knee-thigh-hip complex increases as the contact area over the knee is likewise increased. Unfortunately, no prior methodology exists to record the spatial and temporal contact pressure distributions in dummy (or cadaver) experiments. Previous efforts have been limited to the use of pressure sensitive film, which only yields a cumulative record of contact. These studies assumed that the cumulative pressure sensitive film image correlated with the peak load, although this has never been validated.
Technical Paper

Numerical Evaluation of A Methanol Fueled Directly-Injected Engine

A numerical study on the combustion of Methanol in a directly injected (DI) engine was conducted. The study considers the effect of the bowl-in-piston (BIP) geometry, swirl ratio (SR), and relative equivalence ratio (λ), on flame propagation and burn rate of Methanol in a 4-stroke engine. Ignition-assist in this engine was accomplished by a spark plug system. Numerical simulations of two different BIP geometries were considered. Combustion characteristics of Methanol under swirl and no-swirl conditions were investigated. In addition, the amount of injected fuel was varied in order to determine the effect of stoichiometry on combustion. Only the compression and expansion strokes were simulated. The results show that fuel-air mixing, combustion, and flame propagation was significantly enhanced when swirl was turned on. This resulted in a higher peak pressure in the cylinder, and more heat loss through the cylinder walls.
Technical Paper

Kettering University's 2003 Design for the Clean Snowmobile Challenge

Kettering University's entry in the 2003 Clean Snowmobile Challenge entails the installation of a fuel injected four-stroke engine into a conventional snowmobile chassis. Exhaust emissions are minimized through the use of a catalytic converter and an electronically controlled closed-loop fuel injection system, which also maximizes fuel economy. Noise emissions are minimized by the use of a specifically designed engine silencing system and several chassis treatments. Emissions tests run during the SAE collegiate design event revealed that a snowmobile designed by Kettering University produces lower unburned hydrocarbon (1.5 to 7 times less), carbon monoxide (1.5 to 7 times less), and oxides of nitrogen (and 5 to 23 times less) levels than the average automobile driven in Yellowstone National Park. The Kettering University entry also boasted acceleration performance better than the late-model 500 cc two-stroke snowmobile used as a control snowmobile in the Clean Snowmobile testing.
Technical Paper

Child Restraint Systems: Top Tether Effectiveness in Side Impact Collisions

Use of the top tether attachment in three commonly available anchor points provides added restraint of child restraint systems (CRS). Three tether attachment positions were used; floor, behind the head rest (parcel deck) and at the ceiling. The three anchor points are comparable in efficacy while no tether allows increased travel of the anthropomorphic test device (ATD) head. Two series of six tests were conducted at a max speed of 20 mph and peak deceleration of 16 G's using a deceleration sled test apparatus. The first series of tests was conducted at a 90 degree impact angle. On average there is 9% less head travel when using the tether attachment compared to not using the tether attachment, all other conditions begin equal. The second series of tests was conducted at a 73 degree impact angle, there is 15% less head travel when using the tether attachment compared to not using the tether attachment, all other conditions begin equal.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Multiple Spark Discharge on the Cold-Startability of an E85 Fueled Vehicle

This paper describes experiments conducted to determine the effect of multiple spark discharge ignition systems and spark plug electrode design on cold start performance of a dedicated E85 fueled vehicle. Tests were conducted using three different ignition configurations: OEM ignition and spark plugs, multiple spark discharge ignition with OEM spark plugs, and multiple spark discharge ignition with large gap circular electrode spark plugs. The multiple spark discharge ignition with OEM spark plugs showed a significant improvement in cold start performance over the OEM ignition, but the addition of the circular electrode spark plugs caused a decrease in cold start performance. The circular ground spark plugs did produce a higher ending coolant temperature than either of the other configurations.
Technical Paper

Development of the Kettering University Snowmobile for the 2009 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge

Affordable clean snowmobile technology has been developed. The goals of this design included reducing exhaust emissions to levels which are below the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2012 standard. Additionally, noise levels were to be reduced to below the noise mandates of 78 dB(A). Further, this snowmobile can operate using any blend of gasoline and ethanol from E0 to E85. Finally, achieving these goals would be a hollow victory if the cost and performance of the snowmobile were severely compromised. Snowmobiling is, after all, a recreational sport; thus the snowmobile must remain fun to drive and cost effective to produce. The details of this design effort including performance data are discussed in this paper. Specifically, the effort to modify a commercially available snowmobile using a two cylinder, four-stroke engine is described. This snowmobile was modified to run on a range of ethanol blended fuels using a closed-loop engine control system.
Technical Paper

Development of Snowmobile Technology for Operation on High-Blend Ethanol

Kettering University has developed a cleaner and quieter snowmobile using technologies and innovative methods which can be applied in the real world with a minimal increase in cost. Specifically, a commercially available snowmobile using a two cylinder, four-stroke engine has been modified to run on high-blend ethanol (E-85) fuel. Further, a new exhaust system which features customized catalytic converters and mufflers to minimize engine noise and exhaust emissions has developed. A number of additional improvements have been made to the track to reduce friction and diminish noise. This paper provides details of the snowmobile development the results of these efforts on performance and emissions. Specifically, the Kettering University snowmobile achieved reductions of approximately 72% in CO, and 98% in HC+NOx when compared with the 2012 standard. Further, the snowmobile achieved a drive by noise level of 73 dbA while operating on hard packed snow.
Technical Paper

Development of Clean Snowmobile Technology for the 2006 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge

Kettering University's entry for the 2006 Clean Snowmobile challenge utilizes a Polaris FST Switchback. This snowmobile having a two cylinder, four-stroke engine has been modified to run on ethanol (E-85). The student team has designed and built a new exhaust system which features customized catalytic converters to minimize engine out emissions. A number of improvements have been made to the track to reduce friction and diminish noise.
Technical Paper

Estimation of Frontal Crush Stiffness Coefficients for Car-to-Heavy Truck Underride Collisions

The first objective of this paper was to evaluate a public domain finite element (FE) model of a 1990 Ford Taurus from the perspective of crush energy absorption. The validity of the FE model was examined by first comparing simulation results to several published full-frontal crash tests. Secondly, the suitability of the model for underride simulation was evaluated against two series of full-scale crash tests into vertically offset rigid barriers. Next, the evaluated FE model was used to pursue the main objective of this work, namely to develop an approach for estimating underride crush energy. The linear-spring methodology was adopted whereby the underride crush stiffness was determined by relating the residual upper radiator support deformation to crush energy. An underride crush stiffness estimation method was proposed based on modifying the full-frontal stiffness coefficients.
Technical Paper

External Knee Geometry Surface Variation as a Function of Subject Anthropometry and Flexion Angle for Human and Surrogate Subjects

The current study was designed to compare the surface anatomy of the knee for different human subject anthropometries using a 3-D, non-contact digitizer which converted the anatomy into point clouds. The subjects were studied at flexion angles of 60, 90, and 120 degrees. Multiple subjects fitting narrow anthropometrical specifications were studied: 5th percentile female, 50th percentile male, and 95th percentile male. These data were then compared to a corresponding anthropometrical crash dummy knee which served as an unambiguous control. Intersubject human comparisons showed surface geometry variations which were an order of magnitude smaller than comparisons between the human and dummy knee. Large errors between the human and dummy were associated with the muscle bulk proximal and distal to the popliteal region and the rounder shape of the human knee.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Rollover Injuries for 125 Occupants at a Single Trauma Center With Special Focus on Head and Neck Injury

Analysis of the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) data reveals that vehicle rollover accidents account for a relatively a small number of accidents, but the associated frequency of serious injury is high compared to frontal or side impact. These data demonstrate the apparently elevated probability of head and neck injury during rollover, with head injury occurring more frequently, injured 4.5 times more frequently than the neck when considering all injuries. Automotive industry researchers have performed numerous rollover tests with instrumented ATD's and have predicted an elevated probability of neck injury with little chance of head injury. This contradicts field data (NASS-CDS) which suggests a high frequency of head injury with little chance of neck injury. This difference may be explained in part, through the different volumes of data presented in the literature.