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Technical Paper

The Flow Field Inside an Automotive Torque Converter: Laser Velocimeter Measurements

The 3-D flow field inside an automotive torque converter was measured using laser velocimetry. For the tests, a torque converter completely machined from Plexiglas was operated at the 0.065 and 0.800 turbine/pump speed ratio, and detailed velocities were measured in 13 planes throughout the torque converter. Digital shaft encoder information was used to correlate measured velocities with the pump/turbine angular positions to generate blade-to-blade profiles, 3-D vector plots, and contour through flow plots. Results showed large flow separation regions, jet/wake flows, circulatory secondary flows, and significant flow unsteadiness in all three torque converter elements (pump, turbine, and stator). From the measured velocities, torque converter performance parameters such as mass flows, input/output torque, element incidence angles, slip factors, and vorticities were determined.
Technical Paper

Rollover Initiation Simulations for Designing Rollover Initiation Test System (RITS)

Some rollover test methods, which impose a touchdown condition on a test vehicle, have been developed to study vehicle crashworthiness and occupant protection in rollover crashes. In ground-tripped rollover crashes, speed, steering maneuver, braking, vehicle inertial and geometric properties, topographical and road design characteristics, and soil type can all affect vehicle touchdown conditions. It is presumed that while there may be numerous possible combinations of kinematic metrics (velocity components and orientation) at touchdown, there are also numerous combinations of metrics that are not likely to occur in rollover crashes. To determine a realistic set of touchdown conditions to be used in a vehicle rollover crash test, a lateral deceleration sled-based non-destructive rollover initiation test system (RITS) with a fully programmable deceleration pulse is in development.
Technical Paper

Influence of Driver Input on the Touchdown Conditions and Risk of Rollover in Case of Steering Induced Soil-Trip Rollover Crashes

Some rollover testing methodologies require specification of vehicle kinematic parameters including travel speed, vertical velocity, roll rate, and pitch angle, etc. at the initiation of vehicle to ground contact, which have been referred to as touchdown conditions. The complexity of the vehicle, as well as environmental and driving input characteristics make prediction of realistic touchdown conditions for rollover crashes, and moreover, identification of parameter sensitivities of these characteristics, is difficult and expensive without simulation tools. The goal of this study was to study the sensitivity of driver input on touchdown parameters and the risk of rollover in cases of steering-induced soil-tripped rollovers, which are the most prevalent type of rollover crashes. Knowing the range and variation of touchdown parameters and their sensitivities would help in picking realistic parameters for simulating controlled rollover tests.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Vehicle Kinematics, Injuries and Restraints in DRoTS Tests to Match Unconstrained Rollover Crashes

Multiple laboratory dynamic test methods have been developed to evaluate vehicle crashworthiness in rollover crashes. However, dynamic test methods remove some of the characteristics of actual crashes in order to control testing variables. These simplifications to the test make it difficult to compare laboratory tests to crashes. One dynamic method for evaluating vehicle rollover crashworthiness is the Dynamic Rollover Test System (DRoTS), which simulates translational motion with a moving road surface and constrains the vehicle roll axis to a fixed plane within the laboratory. In this study, five DRoTS vehicle tests were performed and compared to a pair of unconstrained steering-induced rollover tests. The kinematic state of the unconstrained vehicles at the initiation of vehicle-to-ground contact was determined using instrumentation and touchdown parameters were matched in the DRoTS tests.