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Technical Paper

A Morphological, Combinatory Tool for Design of Low-Gap Automotive Body Panels

This paper proposes a conceptual design tool that could direct designers towards concepts that lead to reduced gaps on the exterior of an automobile. Apart from the manufacturing and assembly tolerance stack up, the design and integration method of the body panels in an automobile contribute to the gap. . A benchmark study suggested cursory concepts to avoid or minimize the gaps. The proposed design tool uses a modified morphological chart approach to populate a table with concepts obtained from the benchmark study and by other means. The design tool also incorporates decision alternatives and hence is different from a morphological chart. The design tool can be used to highlight the occurrence of a high level tolerance stack up chain on the structural/mounting members. Conceptual component architectures are arranged in such a fashion to facilitate combinations through visual means.
Journal Article

Conceptual Development of Automotive Forward Lighting System Using White Light Emitting Diodes

This paper focuses on redesigning the headlamp subsystem functional architecture. The design involves meeting three major functional requirements: Achieving the lumen requirements according to Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) 324 regulations, Meeting the illumination pattern, and Maintaining the Light Emitting Diode’s (LED) junction temperature at 90°C. White LEDs are considered in the design to satisfy the functional requirements due to their high lumen efficacy, compact size, and long life. These benefits, when compared to existing headlight systems benchmarked, present enough potential to warrant further conceptual virtual prototyping. The prototyping focused on solutions that allowed control of sizing and numbering of LEDs, illumination pattern limits, and temperature to achieve the multiple functions a dynamic headlight system. A primary challenge in this design is to maintain the LED’s junction temperature within a recommended operational range.
Technical Paper

Design of a Scaled Off-Vehicle Wheel Testing Device for Textile Tread Wear

This paper describes the development of test equipment for determining the wear viability of various lunar wheel tread materials with service lives of up to ten years and 10,000 km. The problem is defined, and concepts are proposed, evaluated, and selected. An abrasive turntable is chosen for simplicity and accuracy of modeling the original wheel configuration. Additionally, the limitations of the test are identified, such as the sensitivity to off-vertical loading, and future work is projected in order to more effectively continue testing. Finally, this paper presents the challenges of collaborative research effort between an undergraduate research team and industry, with government lab representatives as customers
Technical Paper

Wear Resistance of Lunar Wheel Treads Made of Polymeric Fabrics

The purpose of this research is to characterize the wear resistance of wheel treads made of polymeric woven and non-woven fabrics. Experimental research is used to characterize two wear mechanisms: (1) external wear due to large sliding between the tread and rocks, and (2) external wear due to small sliding between the tread and abrasive sand. Experimental setups include an abrasion tester and a small-scale merry-go-round where the tread is attached to a deformable rolling wheel. The wear resistance is characterized using various measures including, quantitatively, by the number of cycles to failure, and qualitatively, by micro-visual inspection of the fibers’ surface. This paper describes the issues related to each experiment and discusses the results obtained with different polymeric materials, fabric densities and sizes. The predominant wear mechanism is identified and should then be used as one of the criteria for further design of the tread.