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Technical Paper

Toothed Couplings for Diesel Engines: An Example of Steel Substitution With Fiber Reinforced Plastics

The replacement with plastic of an important component, formerly in steel, in the timing drive of a heavily duty diesel engine has been studied and realized. The substituted part is the toothed coupling connecting the injection pump to the timing drive. Torque that stresses the coupling has been measured with laboratory tests. The tooth stresses have been calculated with FEM analysis. Finally, fatigue tests have been carried out directly on the engine at different loadings. The test results are consistent with the predicted behavior of this component.
Technical Paper

Crash Performance of Rtm Composites for Automotive Applications

This paper describes the experimental activity carried out at Aerospace Engineering Department of Politecnico di Milano about energy absorption capability of glass-epoxy RTM specimens, representative of automotive crash front structure sub-components. After the analysis of some automotive crashworthiness aspects, especially relevant to the structural adoption of composite materials, the specimen used and the technological route to produce them are described. Then experimental arrangements, test procedure and measurement technique, relevant to static and crash test are presented. Finally test results, reported in the form of numerical values, diagrams and high-velocity films are shown and critically commented.
Technical Paper

Lightweight Seat Design and Crash Simulations

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

A 2D Model for Tractor Tire-Soil Interaction: Evaluation of the Maximum Traction Force and Comparison with Experimental Results

The paper investigates the interaction between soil and tractor tires through a 2D numerical model. The tire is schematized as a rigid ring presenting a series of rigid tread bars on the external circumference. The outer profile of the tire is divided into a series of elements, each one able to exchange a normal and a tangential contact force with the ground. A 2D soil model was developed to compute the forces at the ground-tire interface: the normal force is determined on the basis of the compression of the soil generated by the sinking of the tire. The soil is modeled through a layer of springs characterized by two different stiffness for the loading (lower stiffness) and unloading (higher stiffness) condition. This scheme allows to introduce a memory effect on the soil which results stiffer and keeps a residual sinking after the passage of the tire. The normal contact force determines the maximum value of tangential force provided before the soil fails.
Technical Paper

ANNIE, a Tool for Integrating Ergonomics in the Design of Car Interiors

In the ANNIE project - Applications of Neural Networks to Integrated Ergonomics - BE96-3433, a tool for integrating ergonomics into the design process is developed. This paper presents some features in the current ANNIE as applied to the design of car interiors. A variant of the ERGOMan mannequin with vision is controlled by a hybrid system for neuro-fuzzy simulation. It is trained by using an Elite system for registration of movements. An example of a trajectory generated by the system is shown. A fuzzy model is used for comfort evaluation. An experiment was performed to test its feasibility and it showed very promising results.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Tests of Racing Seats and Simulation with Vedyac Code

Dynamic tests have been performed on carbon fiber racing seats following the FIA regulations. The tests have shown, in rear impact tests, a relatively strong rebound leading to large forward bending of neck, and, in side impact tests, very large lateral displacement of the head, the latter protruding dangerously towards hard portions of the car structure. Stiffening the seat back by steel struts results in reducing strongly both the motion and the acceleration of the head. Simulations of the dynamics of the tests have been done with multi-body models, including the Hybrid III dummy and seat deflection, by means of the program VEDYAC. It has been found that computer simulation can predict very accurately the result of a test, provided the numerical models have been carefully calibrated to match the dummy tolerance bands. Once they have been calibrated and validated with a number of tests, the computer models can be very useful to extend the test results to different test conditions.
Technical Paper

Development of a Control Strategy for a Suspension System with an Active Variable Kinematics

Active and semi-active suspension systems are widely diffused into the automotive industry. Most of the proposed devices try to achieve a better compromise between handling and comfort requirements by replacing traditional springs, shock absorbers and antiroll bars with active or semi-active actuators allowing to change suspension stiffness and damping according to a suitable control strategy. An alternative way for controlling passenger car suspensions is proposed in this paper. Traditional passive springs and dampers are maintained, while the geometry of the suspension and thus its kinematics is actively varied. By changing the suspension geometry, spring and damper rates are in fact varied, this modifying the vertical load on the tire and/or the vehicle height from the ground.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Dynamics, Stability and Control

In the last years the number of electronic controllers of vehicle dynamics applied to chassis components has increased dramatically. They use lookup table of the primary order vehicle global parameters as yaw rate, lateral acceleration, steering angle, car velocity, that define the ideal behavior of the vehicle. They are usually based on PID controllers which compare the actual behavior of every measured real vehicle data to the desired behavior, from look up table. The controller attempts to keep the measured quantities the same as the tabled quantities by using ESP, TC (brakes and throttle), CDC (control shocks absorbers), EDIFF(active differential) and 4WS (rear wheels active toe). The performances of these controls are good but not perfect. The improvement can be achieved by replacement of the lookup tables with a fast vehicle model running in parallel to the real vehicle.