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Technical Paper

Application of Advanced High Strength Stainless Steel for Mass Reduction in Automotive Structures - A Front Bumper Beam Case Study

The front bumper of a current production vehicle, which is made of hot-stamped 15B21 aluminized steel, was studied for mass and cost reductions using the Advanced High Strength Stainless Steel product NITRONIC® 30 (UNS Designation S20400) manufactured by AK Steel Corporation. This grade of stainless steel offers a combination of high ductility and strength, which was utilized to significantly modify the design of the bumper beam to incorporate geometry changes that improved its stiffness and strength. The structural performance of the bumper assembly was evaluated using LS-Dyna-based CAE simulations of the IIHS 40% Offset Full-Vehicle Impact at 40 mph with a deformable barrier, and the IIHS Full Width Centerline 6 mph Low-Speed Impact. Optimization of the bumper beam shape and gauge was performed using a combination of manual design iterations and a multi-objective optimization methodology using LS-Opt.
Technical Paper

Detecting and Classifying Secondary Impacts in Door Closing Sound

One of the primary correlates to customer annoyance with door-closing sound is peak loudness. In addition, customer annoyance also increases with the existence of secondary impacts, such as rattles. While these secondary impacts are typically not seen in the time-varying loudness trace (or other common sound quality metrics), it is often possible to visually identify the impacts in a time-frequency display of the door-closing sound. But the reduction of this display information to a single-number objective metric that agrees with subjective assessments has previously proved elusive. This paper summarizes the recent development and application of an objective metric that agrees with subjective classifications of secondary impacts in door-closing sounds.
Technical Paper

Thermal Conductivity Measurements in Nanofluids via the Transient Planar Source Method

The use of nanotechnology to develop advanced heat-transfer materials is a rapidly growing topic of research at facilities around the world. One class of these materials, nanofluids, has shown promise in the laboratory to dramatically improve thermal conductivity. Quantification of the thermophysical properties of these fluids is important for optimizing the design of automotive powertrains and electrical subsystems in order to produce highly efficient and robust vehicle cooling. A new technique for measuring thermal conductivity, the Transient Planar Source (TPS) method, was used for the first time to investigate the thermal conductivity of automotive coolants and their equivalent nanofluid, as a function of temperature. The results of this study indicate that the TPS method allows for rapid and repeatable measurement of thermal conductivity with an error of between 2-4%. The technique also presents several advantages over other methods which we will briefly describe.
Technical Paper

Analysis of the Progression of Rainwater Film Over the Bonnet of a Road Vehicle

A significant route for water ingress into passenger cars is through the Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system. The penetration of rainwater through the HVAC unit and the subsequent rise in moisture levels within the passenger compartment directly affect the provision of thermal comfort to the cabin occupants. It is speculated that up to 80% of water ingress into the cowl or engine bay is from water film movement over the bonnet of the car, and only the remaining 20% is from direct rain impact from above. Using a full-scale Climatic Wind Tunnel (CWT) facility, which incorporates accurate rain distribution modeling, it has been possible to study the movement of rainwater film over the exterior surface of the vehicle to ascertain the flow distribution of the film moving into the engine bay, into the cowl, advancing up and over the windscreen and shed to the sides and front of the vehicle.
Technical Paper

Improved Life for Krypton-Filled Brake Bulbs

The goal was to identify and optimize the common cause factors affecting the service life of krypton-filled vehicle brake bulbs (type 3157K). Also, a reason for vehicle-line to vehicle-line differences in bulb warranty cost was desired. A shaker-table test was developed to allow accelerated evaluation of common-cause factors thought to affect bulb life. Two significant causal design factors were found, 1) filament orientation and 2) centering of main filament coil (between the lead wires). It was concluded that voltage, while having an effect on bulb life, is a noise factor. Optimization of the design factors studied more than doubled observed bulb life.
Technical Paper

Nondestructive Evaluation of Adhesively-Joined Aluminum Alloy Sheets Using an Ultrasonic Array

Abstract Adhesive bonding technology has gained ever-increasing significance in automotive industry, especially with the growing use of aluminum (Al) alloy body structures. The variability in thicknesses of the metal and adhesive layers, as well as in joint geometry, of automotive components has presented challenges in nondestructive evaluation of adhesive joints. Though these challenges were recently overcome for steel-adhesive joints using an ultrasonic pulse-echo technique, the difference in acoustic impedances of steel and Al leads to a lack of robustness in utilizing the same algorithm for Al-adhesive joints. Here, we present the results from using a modified version of this technique to inspect Al-adhesive joints in both laboratory and production environments. A 15-MHz, 52-pixel, 10 mm × 10 mm matrix array of ultrasonic transducers was used to obtain ultrasonic pulse echoes from joint interfaces, analysis of which produced C-scan images of the adhesive bead.
Technical Paper

A Matrix Array Technique for Evaluation of Adhesively Bonded Joints

Adhesive bonding technology is playing an increasingly important role in automotive industry. Ultrasonic evaluation of adhesive joints of metal sheets is a challenging problem in Non-Destructive Testing due to the large acoustic impedance mismatch between metal and adhesive, variability in the thickness of metal and adhesive layers, as well as variability in joint geometry. In this paper, we present the results from a matrix array of small flat ultrasonic transducers for evaluation of adhesively bonded joints in both laboratory and production environments. The reverberating waveforms recorded by the array elements are processed to obtain an informative parameter, whose two-dimensional distribution can be presented as a C-scan. Energy of the reflected waveform, normalized with respect to the energy obtained from an area with no adhesive, is a robust parameter for discriminating "adhesive/no-adhesive" regions.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of 25% Post-Industrial Recycled SMC Hood Assembly for the 1998 Lincoln Continental Program

This paper describes the process of incorporation of 25% post-industrial recycled sheet molded composite (SMC) material in the 1998 Continental Hood inner. 1998 Continental Hood assembly consists of traditional SMC outer and this recycled hood inner along with three small steel reinforcements. BUDD Plastics collects SMC scraps from their manufacturing plants. The scrap is then processed and made into fillers for production of SMC. Strength of SMC comes from glass fibers and fillers are added to produce the final mix of raw materials. This recycled material is approximately 10% lighter and less stiff than the conventional virgin SMC. This presented unique challenges to the product development team to incorporate this material into a production vehicle in order to obtain the desired goal of reducing land fill and improving the environment.
Technical Paper

Integration of Chassis Frame Forming Analysis into Performance Models to More Accurately Evaluate Crashworthiness

For Body on Frame vehicles, the chassis truck frame absorbs approximately 70% of the kinetic energy created from a frontal impact. Traditional performance analysis of the chassis utilizes standardized material properties for the Finite Element (FE) Model. These steel properties do not reflect any strain hardening effects that occur during the forming process. This paper proposes a process that integrates the frame side rail forming analysis results into the FE crash model. The process was implemented on one platform at Ford Motor Company to quantify the effects. The forming analysis provided material thinout, yield strength, and tensile strength which were input into the performance model. With the modified properties, the frame deceleration pulse and buckling mode exhibited different characteristics. The integration of CAE disciplines is the next step in increasing the predictability of analytical tools.
Technical Paper

Engineering Moveable Glass Window Seals of Automotive Door Using Upfront CAE

The traditional moveable glass window seal development process has relied heavily on physical prototypes for design verification. Due to frequent styling changes and an overall reduction in design time, physical prototypes for the glass window seals have proven to be inadequate. Utilization of computer aided engineering (CAE) tools is necessary in order to shorten lead time. CAE tools will help to decrease expensive prototyping, free up valuable manufacturing line time, and improve overall quality. A cross functional approach has been applied to expand the scope beyond traditional methods of moveable glass window seal design, such as wedged boarding, into new computerized modeling methods. The CAE was used to address major requirements of the glass window seals including glass velocity, glass stall force, sealing-ability, seal durability, seal assembly, seal appearance, and regulator motor current.
Technical Paper

The P2000 Body Structure

The objective of the P2000 body structure design was to provide a body structure with 50% of the mass of current mid-size production vehicles while maintaining all the safety, durability, NVH and other functional attributes. In addition, the design was to be consistent with the PNGV affordability objectives and high volume production by 2005. This paper describes the P2000 body structure including the structural philosophy, project constraints on the design, manufacturing processes, supporting analyses, assembly processes and unique material and design concepts which resulted in the 50% weight reduction from comparable production vehicles.
Technical Paper

Body Structure Joint Optimization: A Cost Driven Approach

Cross-section properties and joint stiffness properties of the body structure define its characteristic behavior. During the transitional product development process, body structure joints are optimized on an individual basis to reduce cost and weight. The objective of this paper is to present a methodology to analyze the entire body structure design by optimizing each body joint for stiffness and cost. This methodology utilizes joint sensitivity data from FEA, section properties, and cost/weight data. When the joint stiffness status does not meet the target during the design process, the methodology is an effective tool in making decisions regarding the gage increase/decrease for each part constituting body structure joints. Additionally, the methodology has been applied to body structure joints and door upper frame separately.
Technical Paper

Light Truck Stabilizer Bar Attachment Non-linear Fatigue Analysis

The stabilizer bar attachments problem can not be simply analyzed by using linear FEA methodology. The large deformation in the bushing, the elastic-plastic material property in the bushing retainer bracket, and the contact between different parts all add complexity to the problem and result in the need for an analysis method using a non-linear code, such as ABAQUS. The material properties of the bushing were experimentally determined and applied to the CAE model. It was found that using strains to estimate the fatigue life was more accurate and reliable than using stress. Many modeling techniques used in this analysis were able to improve analysis efficiency.
Technical Paper

Failure Mode Characterization of AHSS in Automotive Seat Structure Assemblies

In the last few years, there has been a greater emphasis on using advanced lightweight materials in automotive applications, primarily to realize better fuel economy and cost-effectiveness. In response to the demand for such materials, many new grades of steel are now available that offer a wide variety of mechanical properties and manufacturability indices. The new class of steel, known as Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) offer better strength-to-weight ratios than conventional cold rolled steels, and could be utilized to design cost effective structures. The paper will discuss the application of using the AHSS steel in an automotive rear seat frame structure. The items to be discussed include the manufacturability of AHSS, the load transfer method of such structures, joining methods used in such an application, and design challenges of modeling in FEA. Test results of seat structures with a comparative analysis with FEA will be reviewed.
Technical Paper

Application of Tailor Rolled Blank in Vehicle Front End for Frontal Impact

Lighter weight and lower cost have been pursued in automotive industry. Traditionally, metal sheets of uniform thickness are used for stamping or forming vehicle structural parts. For a desired structure, a metal sheet with varying thickness is desirable. It not only saves material but also increases design flexibility. For example, some areas of a cross member require thicker thicknesses to support localized, larger loading, while for other areas, where there is no localized loading, thinner thicknesses can be used to save material. Tailor Rolled Blank (TRB) is an emerging manufacturing technology which allows engineers to change blank thickness continuously within a sheet metal, virtually eliminating the need for welding local reinforcements in the part. TRB also provides simpler structural design due to smooth, rolled transitions, which prevent stress concentrations in the finished part.
Technical Paper

An Integrated Design and Appraisal System for Vehicle Interior Packaging

Static seating bucks have long been used as the only means to subjectively appraise the vehicle interior packages in the vehicle development process. The appraisal results have traditionally been communicated back to the requesting engineers either orally or in a written format. Any design changes have to be made separately after the appraisal is completed. Further, static seating bucks lack the flexibility to accommodate design iterations during the evolution of a vehicle program. The challenge has always been on how to build a seating buck quickly enough to support the changing needs of vehicle programs, especially in the early vehicle development phases. There is always a disconnect between what the seating buck represents and what is in the latest design (CAD), since it takes weeks or months to build a seating buck and by the time it is built the design has already been evolved. There is also no direct feedback from seating buck appraisal to the design in CAD.
Technical Paper

Swing Gate Development and Correlation Studies

This paper documents the Engineering design of the rear door system for Ford's South American New Vehicle. This Closure system represents a first for the Engineering Department of Ford branded products and it also offers many industry firsts for the customer. This paper is not a concise A-Z document on Closure design, but a detailed report listing the important factors to consider in a Swing Gate.
Technical Paper

Aluminum Subframe Design for Crash Energy Management

The engine subframe (cradle) is an important contributor to crash energy management in frontal impact for automotive vehicles. Subframe design can enhance vehicle crash performance through energy management. In addition to energy management targets, the subframe must meet stiffness, durability and other vehicle engineering requirements. Various subframe concepts are reviewed. Their design intents and vehicle performance are discussed. A development process of an aluminum subframe is then presented which details the subframe design as an energy absorbing component for frontal impacts. The architecture of the subframe is developed based on overall functionality requirements and package constraints. The geometry of the subframe is first designed to accommodate engine mounts and suspension support locations. The subframe member's shape, orientation, and location are then refined to accommodate the subframe-to-body connection requirements.
Technical Paper

Comparison Between Finite Elements Model and Experimental Results for Static Stiffness and Normal Vibration Modes on a Unibody Vehicle

It is a well-know fact that cost and time-to-market constraints have gained an ever-increasing importance in the recent years in the global automotive industry. Either due to economic problems in emerging markets or to the presence of strong competition is US and Europe, automakers strive, using different strategies, to find ways of satisfying these constraints. One of the most promising tools to assist in reducing both development cost and time is CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) or Virtual Prototyping which, by using numerical models of components, systems and/or vehicles, is capable of assessing their behavior in areas such as noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), durability, impact safety and vehicle dynamics. A very important question that is frequently faced by CAE development teams is related to how well the numerical results match those that will be obtained when the vehicle is actually built.
Technical Paper

Modeling and Design for Vehicle Pitch and Drop of Body-on-Frame Vehicles

Vehicle pitch and drop play an important role for occupant neck and head injury at frontal impact. The excessive vehicle header drop, due to vehicle pitch and drop during crash, induces aggressive interaction between occupant head and sun visor/header that causes serious head and neck injuries. For most of body-on-frame vehicles, vehicle pitch and drop have commonly been observed at frontal impact tests. It is because the vehicle body is pulled downward by frame rails, which bend down during crash. Hence, the challenges of frame design are not only to absorb crash energy but also to manage frame deformation for minimizing vehicle pitch and drop. In this paper, the finite element method is used to analyze frame deformation at full frontal impact. To ensure the quality of CAE model, a full vehicle FEA model is correlated to barrier tests. In addition, a study of CAE modeling affecting vehicle header drop is performed.