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Journal Article

Low-Cost FC Stack Concept with Increased Power Density and Simplified Configuration Utilizing an Advanced MEA

In 2006, Nissan began limited leasing of the X-TRAIL FCV equipped with their in-house developed Fuel Cell (FC) stack. Since then, the FC stack has been improved in cost, size, durability and cold start-up capability with the aim of promoting full-scale commercialization of FCVs. However, reduction of cost and size has remained a significant challenge because limited mass transport through the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) has made it difficult to increase the rated current density of the FC. Furthermore, it has been difficult to reduce the variety of FC stack components due to the complex stack configuration. In this study, improvements have been achieved mainly by adopting an advanced MEA to overcome these difficulties. First, the adoption of a new MEA and separators has improved mass transport through the MEA for increased rated current density. Second, an integrated molded frame (IMF) has been adopted as the MEA support.
Technical Paper

Development of GF-5 0W-20 Fuel-Saving Engine Oil for DLC-Coated Valve Lifters

A suitable GF-5 engine oil formulation is investigated to improve the fuel economy of gasoline engines with hydrogen-free DLC-coated valve lifters. Molybdenum dithocarbamate (MoDTC) is shown to be a suitable friction modifier for low viscosity grade engine oils like 0W-20. A suitable Ca salicylate detergent is also determined from several types examined for maximizing the friction reduction effects of MoDTC. The most suitable Ca salicylate has a chemical structure capable of forming a borophosphate glass film on metal surfaces, which is known to improve the effects of MoDTC. A high viscosity index Group III base oil (VI>140) is also effective in improving fuel efficiency. It is further clarified that the structural design of the polymethacrylate viscosity modifier is another important factor in reducing engine friction.
Technical Paper

Low-cost FC Stack Concept with Increased Power Density and Simplified Configuration: Utilizing an Advanced MEA with Integrated Molded Frame

In 2006, Nissan began limited leasing of the X-TRAIL FCV equipped with their in-house developed Fuel Cell (FC) stack. Since then, the FC stack has been improved in durability, cold start-up capability, cost and size with the aim of promoting full-scale commercialization of FCVs. However, reduction of cost and size has remained a significant challenge because limited mass transport through the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) has made it difficult to increase the rated current density of the FC. Furthermore, it has been difficult to reduce the variety of FC stack components due to the complex stack configuration. In this study, improvements have been achieved mainly by adopting an advanced MEA to overcome these difficulties. First, the adoption of a new MEA and separators has improved mass transport through the MEA for increased rated current density. Second, an integrated molded frame (IMF) has been adopted as the MEA support.
Journal Article

Novel Microsurface Machining Techniques for Improving the Traction Coefficient

This study examined methods of machining a microsurface texture on the surface of the rolling elements of a toroidal continuously variable transmission (CVT) for improving the traction coefficient. The microsurface texture of the toroidal surfaces consists of tiny circumferential grooves (referred to here as micro grooves) and a mirror-like surface finish similar to the rolling surface of bearings. Hard turning with a cubic boron nitride (cBN) cutting tool, grinding with a cBN wheel and micro forming were applied to machine the micro grooves. The results made clear the practical potential of each method. A micro forming device was also developed for use in actual production. A mirror-like surface finish and micro crowning of the convex portions of the microsurface texture were simultaneously executed by superfinishing them with a fine-grained elastic superfinishing stone.
Technical Paper

Application Development of Low Carbon Type Dual Phase 980MPa High Strength Steel

Use of high strength steel (HSS) could be an important consideration in achieving competitive weight and safety performance of the body-in-white (BIW). This study covers key technical issues in the application development. Many aspects were studied such as formability, weldability and impact strength for application of this grade to the BIW. One of the key issues is spot weldability, especially in the assembly of heavy gauge materials for structural parts. The spot weld strength appears not to satisfy the target for some HSS applications, when hardness of the nugget is high. The relation between weld strength and the chemical composition of steel sheets was studied, because hardness can be controlled by chemical composition and welding conditions. It was found that using lower carbon content or carbon equivalent compared to conventional grades could improve weld strength.
Technical Paper

Thermal Imaging Technology using a Thermoelectric Infrared Sensor

This paper describes a low-cost 48 × 48 element thermal imaging camera intended for use in measuring the temperature in a car interior for advanced air conditioning systems. The compact camera measures 46 × 46 × 60 mm. It operates under a program stored in the central processing unit and can measure the interior temperature distribution with an accuracy of ±0.7°C in range from 0 to 40°C. The camera includes a thermoelectric focal plane array (FPA) housed in a low-cost vacuum-sealed package. The FPA is fabricated with the conventional IC manufacturing process and micromachining technology. The chip is 6.5 × 6.5 mm in size and achieves high sensitivity of 4,300 V/W, which is higher than the performance reported for any other thermopile. This high performance has been achieved by optimizing the sensor's thermal isolation structure and a precisely patterned Au-black absorber that attains high infrared absorptivity of more than 90%.
Technical Paper

Spot-weld Layout Optimization for Body Stiffness by Topology Optimization

In general, the improvement of vehicle body stiffness involves a trade-off with the body weight. The objective of this research is to derive the lightest-weight solution from the original vehicle model by finding the optimized spot-weld layout and body panel thickness, while keeping the body stiffness and number of spot welds constant. As the first step, a method of deriving the optimal layout of spot welds for maximizing body stiffness was developed by applying the topology optimization method. While this method is generally used in shape optimization of continuous solid structures, it was applied to discontinuous spot-weld positions in this work. As a result, the effect of the spot-weld layout on body stiffness was clarified. In the case of the body used for this research, body stiffness was improved by about 10% with respect to torsion and vertical and lateral bending.
Journal Article

Dissimilar Joining of Aluminum Alloy and Steel by Resistance Spot Welding

This study concerns a dissimilar materials joining technique for aluminum (Al) alloys and steel for the purpose of reducing the vehicle body weight. The tough oxide layer on the Al alloy surface and the ability to control the Fe-Al intermetallic compound (IMC) thickness are issues that have so far complicated the joining of Al alloys and steel. Removing the oxide layer has required a high heat input, resulting in the formation of a thick Fe-Al IMC layer at the joint interface, making it impossible to obtain satisfactory joint strength. To avoid that problem, we propose a unique joining concept that removes the oxide layer at low temperature by using the eutectic reaction between Al in the Al alloy and zinc (Zn) in the coating on galvanized steel (GI) and galvannealed steel (GA). This makes it possible to form a thin, uniform Fe-Al IMC layer at the joint interface. Welded joints of dissimilar materials require anticorrosion performance against electrochemical corrosion.
Technical Paper

Application of Hydroforming Simulation on Development of Automobile Parts

Hydrofrorming is an efficient forming process to produce automotive parts for reducing weight of cars. In order to reduce the period of development of hydrofoming parts, numerical simulation using FEM is applied to evaluate formability. A pipe needs to be bent before hydroforming for forming complicated shape parts. A pipe bending process is also necessary to FEM simulation. In this paper, a highly effective method to create a bent pipe FEM model based on geometrical changing between a pipe before and after bending is proposed. The widely used draw bending process is supposed to be applied. The method can construct the model in a short time. Therefore total computation time can be reduced drastically. The effects of number of integration points and elements to the computed results and springback prediction after bending are also investigated. The proposed method are applied to a actual part, the computed results are in good agreement with the experimental results.
Technical Paper

FEM analysis on gap control mechanism in batting process of tailored blank sheets production

Recently tailored blank sheets are widely and very often applied to car body's panels in order to reduce weight and number of automobile parts. The tailored blank sheets are produced by welding more than two metal sheets. The gap between edges of blank sheets before laser welding should be controlled for obtaining good quality tailored blank sheets. Therefore control of gap within 0.1mm between batting two blank sheets for production is one of main subjects for producing tailored blank sheets. This report presents not only a new mechanism on gap control but also a development of Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis for prediction of gap. The new mechanism has been applied successfully to produce good quality tailored blank sheets. The gap prediction simulation can reduce the time for gap control apparatus design.
Technical Paper

Development of a Highly Efficient Manufacturing Method for a Plastic Intake Manifold

A plastic intake manifold has been developed for the new QR engine. This manifold has an intricate shape owing to its performance and layout requirements. The die slide injection (DSI) method was selected to manufacture this complicated shape using the world's first application of a common mold forming technique for a three-piece structure. This paper describes the manufacturing technology and the measures adopted to ensure the strength of welded parts, which is a key point of this method. The benefits obtained by applying this plastic intake manifold to the new engine are also described.
Technical Paper

Down-Gauging Outer Body Panels Through the Use of Rib-Shaped Plastic Reinforcement

Down-gauging outer panels is an effective method for reducing the weight of an automobile body. We have succeeded in narrowing the thickness of outer panels by using rib-shaped plastic reinforcement. The plastic reinforcement consists of unhardened resin and an adhesive sheet, and it conforms well to the curved panel surface. In the body paint oven, it is hardened on the outer panels and forms a rib-shaped structure. This paper describes the composition of the resin material, the manufacturing process and the strength and rigidity of outer panels made with the rib-shaped reinforcement. It also discusses the weight reduction effect achieved by applying these panels to the doors of a production vehicle.
Technical Paper

Development of a Technique for Using Oil Viscosity to Reduce Noise Radiated from the Oil Pan

We have developed a vibration damping technique for the Oil Pan to reduce radiation noise. This technique makes use of oil viscosity. To increase vibration damping of oil pan, we use oil viscosity by forming a thin oil film between the oil pan bottom and an added inner plate. This paper presents the results of vibration tests that were conducted to study the oil damping mechanism and results of applying to a small high-speed diesel engine.
Technical Paper

Method of Fatigue Life Estimation for Arc–Welded Structures

Two working groups in the JSAE Committee of Fatigue–Reliability Section1 are currently researching the issue of fatigue life by both experimental and the CAE approach. Information regarding frequent critical problems on arc–welded structures were sought from auto–manufacturers, vehicle component suppliers, and material suppliers. The method for anti–fatigue design on arc–welded structures was established not only by a database created by physical test results in accordance with the collected information but also with design procedure taking Fracture–Mechanics into consideration. This method will be applied to vehicle development as one of the virtual laboratories in the digital prototype phase. In this paper, both the database from bench–test results on arc welded structures and FEA algorithm unique to JSAE are proposed some of the analysis results associated with the latter proposal are also reported.
Technical Paper

Discharge Regulator of Painting Robot and Establishment of CAD Teaching System

The current spray painting system is hardly considered that the thickness is controlled enough, because the temperature greatly influence on the viscosity of paint. We noticed the problem and detected the temperature at a nozzle of a spray unit. We tried that the paint flow is controlled to get stable thickness more accurately by the temperature feedback system. We also tried to develop the new programming method of robots. This new offline programming system provided us an ideal positions and orientations of the spray gun mounted on a robot wrist, after several simulation in the CAD system. We checked and debugged the office taught date with a trial robot in a trial area, and then loaded down with the date to a target robot. We eventually provided a better production technology with the paintflow control system together with the new CAD based offline programming system.
Technical Paper

Development of Laser-Textured Dull Steel Sheets with Superior Press Formability

Surface roughness of steel sheet for automotive use is one of the most important control items, because the surface roughness influences image clarity of painted surface, press formability and easiness in handling during manufacturing and processing of steel sheets. Laser texturing technology is introduced into a roll finishing process of cold rolling, and new type of regular surface roughness profile can be processed on the surface of steel sheets. Effective application method of this technology is investigated at the present day. In Japan, Laser-textured dull steel sheets are used for outer-panels of automotive body as the first application. And image clarity after painting of outer panels has been successful in improving. Nowadays, Laser texturing technology is actually used for manufacturing the high image clarity steel sheets, and they are manufactured in large quantities. Another application of Laser texturing technology is for the inner parts which require pressformability.
Technical Paper

Extremely Formable Cold Rolled Sheet Steel with Ultra-High Lankford and n Values - Metallurgy and Formabilities

Extremely formable cold sheet steel with an ultra-high Lankford value of more than 2.5 and an n value of more than 0.27 has been developed. This steel is obtained due to the following factors; using extremely pure IF (Interstitial free) steel, immediate rapid cooling upon completion of rolling in the hot rolling process, a high reduction in the cold rolling process, and a high soaking temperature in the continuous annealing process. This steel sheet shows excellent deep drawability and stretch formability compared with conventional steel sheet (former IF steel and low carbon aluminum-killed steel) as a result of evaluating the limiting drawing ratio and limiting dome height, respectively. This excellent formability is also shown by the model forming tests for simulating the actual stamping of an oilpan and a side-panel. Furthermore, this steel shows the same spot-weldability as that of former IF steel, and zinc phosphatability similar to that of low carbon aluminum-killed steel.
Technical Paper

Development of Multi-Layer Plastic Fuel Tanks for Nissan Research Vehicle-II

Plastic fuel tanks are light in weight and rustproof, and have good design flexibility. For those currently in use, however, which are made of mono-layer high-density polyethylene, fuel permeability is too high to meet U.S. evaporative emission standards, which are stricter than those in Japan or the EEC. For minimize fuel permeation, the formation of a harrier layer of polyamide resin by multilayer (three-resin five-layer) blow molding is considered more promising than sulphonation or fluorination treatment of the polyethylene resin. This paper describes the fuel permeation mechanism, then outlines the development of a multi-layer plastic fuel tank, discussion its structural features and the development of resins.
Technical Paper

The Development on Cold Forging Technique to form a Component of the Constant Velocity Joint

Cold forging has been applied to form a component of the constant velocity joint. This part, slide joint housing, is made of JIS S48C (SAE 1048) high carbon steel. As it has been very difficult to form this part by cold forging, it has been formed by hot forging up until now. Success was obtained in forming this part by cold forging through improving the chemical composition of S48C high carbon steel and tool design, determining the optimum condition for heat treating the slug, and using a TiC coated punch. Since this slide joint housing, which is nearly net shape, was able to be formed through this cold forging technique, material saving was improved about 40% and machining time was reduced much in comparison with hot forging. Manufacturing cost can be greatly reduced through this cold forging which has been developed.
Technical Paper

An Application of Structural-Acoustic Coupling Analysis to Boom Noise

Reduction of interior noise is an important factor in vehicle design and many experimental and theoretical studies have been carried out to find effective noise reduction techniques. Previously, we developed a Structural-Acoustic Uncoupled Program, ACOUST3, as a technique for estimating low-frequency noise in the vehicle interior. In the present work, ACOUST3 has been extended to construct an acoustic coupling analysis system, ASCA, which is used to calculate low-frequency noise, such as boom noise. In order to calculate low-frequency noise accurately, it is necessary to represent the vibration characteristics of the trimmed body as closely as possible. To do this, we built a trimmed body model, incorporating 22 trim parts, based on vibration test results, and found that the calculated results obtained with the model correlated well with experimental data.