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Journal Article

Impact of Dynamic Characteristics of Wheel-Rail Coupling on Rail Corrugation

Abstract To gain a better understanding of the characteristics of corrugation, including the development and propagation of corrugation, and impact of vehicle and track dynamics, a computational model was established, taking into account the nonlinearity of vehicle-track coupling. The model assumes a fixed train speed of 300 km/h and accounts for vertical interaction force components and rail wear effect. Site measurements were used to validate the numerical model. Computational results show that (1) Wheel polygonalisation corresponding to excitation frequency of 545-572 Hz was mainly attributed to track irregularity and uneven stiffness of under-rail supports, which in turn leads to vibration modes of the bogie and axle system in the frequency range of 500-600 Hz, aggregating wheel wear. (2) The peak response frequency of rail of the non-ballasted track coincides with the excitation frequency of wheel-rail coupling; the resonance results in larger wear amplitude of the rail.
Journal Article

Evaluation of a Robust Haptic Interface for Semi-Autonomous Vehicles

Abstract The advent of steer-by-wire technologies has changed the driving paradigm for drivers and vehicle autonomy. Such technologies integrate electric motors to actuate the tire-road plus human-machine interfaces. Steer-by-wire vehicles can benefit from haptic concepts through the provision of tunable force feedback, coupled with nonlinear control, to introduce lane keeping and pathway following technologies that minimize and possibly eliminate driver actions. In this article, two vehicle haptic interfaces, including a robotic grip and a joystick, both of which are accompanied by nonlinear sliding mode control, have been developed and studied on a steer-by-wire platform integrated with a virtual reality driving environment. An operator-in-the-loop evaluation that included 30 human test subjects investigated these haptic steering interfaces over a prescribed series of driving maneuvers through real-time data logging and post-test questionnaires.
Journal Article

Exploring the Potential of Combustion on Titan

Abstract Significant attention has been focused on Mars due to its relative proximity and possibility of sustaining human life. However, its lack of in-situ sources of energy presents a challenge to generate needed energy on the surface. Comparatively, Titan has a nearly endless source of fuel in its atmosphere and lakes, but both are lacking in regards to their oxidizing capacity. The finding of a possible underground liquid ammonia-water lake on Titan suggests that oxygen might actually be within reach. This effort provides the first theoretical study involving a primary energy generation system on Titan using the atmosphere as a fuel and underground water as the source for the oxygen via electrolysis from wind generated electricity.
Journal Article

Improve Heat Resistance of Composite Engine Cowlings Using Ceramic Coating Materials, Experimental Design and Testing

Abstract A large amount of heat generated in the engineering compartment in a hovering helicopter may lead to premature degradation of inner skin of its engine cowling and cause serious failure on the engine cowling. This study proposes a solution of improving heat resistance of the helicopter engine cowlings by replacing the currently used intumescent coating with a ceramic coating material, Cerakote C-7700Q. Oven and flame tests were designed and conducted to evaluate the heat resistance of Cerakote C-7700Q. The test results show that the currently used painting scheme of the engine cowlings failed the 220°C oven test while after replacing the epoxy seal coat with the Cerakote, the new painting system passed the 220°C test in regards to painting bubbling. Based on that, a new painting scheme with C-7700Q implemented was recommended.
Journal Article

Modeling of Ducted-Fan and Motor in an Electric Aircraft and a Preliminary Integrated Design

Abstract Electric ducted-fans with high power density are widely used in hybrid aircraft, electric aircraft, and VTOL vehicles. For the state-of-the-art electric ducted-fan, motor cooling restricts the power density increase. A motor design model based on the fan hub-to-tip ratio proposed in this article reveals that the thermal coupling effect between fan aerodynamic design and motor cooling design has great potential to increase the power density of the motor in an electric propulsion system. A smaller hub-to-tip ratio is preferred as long as the power balance and cooling balance are satisfied. Parametric study on a current 6 kW electric ducted-fan system shows that the highest motor power density could be increased by 246% based on the current technology. Finally, a preliminary design was obtained and experiments were conducted to prove the feasibility of the model.
Journal Article

Design and Experiment on Aircraft Electromechanical Actuator Fan at Different Altitudes and Rotational Speeds

Abstract For electromechanical actuators (EMAs) and electronic devices cooling on aircraft, there is a need to study cooling fan performance at various altitudes from sea level to 12,000 m where the ambient pressure varies from 1 to 0.2 atm. As fan static pressure head is proportional to air density, the fan’s rotational speed has to be increased significantly to compensate for the low ambient pressure of 0.2 atm at the altitude of 12,000 m. To evaluate fan performance for EMA cooling, a high-rotational-speed, commercially available fan made by Ametek with a diameter of ~82 mm and ~3 m3/min zero-load open cooling flow rate when operating at 20,000 rpm was chosen as the baseline. According to fan scaling laws, this fan was expected to meet the cooling needs for an EMA when operating at 0.2 atm. Using a closed flow loop, the performance of the fan operating in the above ambient pressure range and at a rotational speed between 15,000 and 30,000 rpm was evaluated.
Journal Article

High Power-Density, High Efficiency, Mechanically Assisted, Turbocharged Direct-Injection Jet-Ignition Engines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Abstract More than a decade ago, we proposed combined use of direct injection (DI) and jet ignition (JI) to produce high efficiency, high power-density, positive-ignition (PI), lean burn stratified, internal combustion engines (ICEs). Adopting this concept, the latest FIA F1 engines, which are electrically assisted, turbocharged, directly injected, jet ignited, gasoline engines and work lean stratified in a highly boosted environment, have delivered peak power fuel conversion efficiencies well above 46%, with specific power densities more than 340 kW/liter. The concept, further evolved, is here presented for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications. Results of simulations for a new DI JI ICE with rotary valve, being super-turbocharged and having gasoline or methanol as working fuel, show the opportunity to achieve even larger power densities, up to 430 kW/liter, while delivering a near-constant torque and, consequently, a nearly linear power curve over a wide range of speeds.
Journal Article

Process Regulations and Mechanism of WEDM of Combustor Material

Abstract This study discusses the experimental investigation on WEDM of combustor material (i.e., nimonic 263). Experimentation has been executed by varying pulse-on time (Ton), pulse-off time (Toff), peak current (Ip), and spark gap voltage (Sv). Material removal rate (MRR), surface roughness (SR), and wire wear rate (WWR) are employed as process performance characteristics. Experiments are designed as per the box-Behnken design technique. Parametric optimization has also been performed using response surface methodology. Besides this, field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and an optical microscope are utilized to characterize WEDMed and worn-out wire surfaces. It is observed that both surfaces contain micro-cracks, craters, spherical droplets, and a lump of debris. Furthermore, the mechanism of recast layer formation has been critically evaluated to apprehend a better understanding of the technique. The key features of the experimental procedure are also highlighted.
Journal Article

Using Numerical Simulation to Obtain Length of Constant Area Section in Scramjet Combustor

Abstract Constant area section length downstream to the fuel injection point is a crucial dimension of scramjet duct geometry. It has a major contribution in creating the maximum effective pressure inside the combustor that is required for propulsion. The length is limited by the thermal choking phenomenon, which occurs when heat is added in a flow through constant area duct. As per theory, to avoid thermal choking the constant area section length depends upon the inlet conditions and the rate of heat addition. The complexity related to mixing and combustion process inside the supersonic stream makes it difficult to predict the rate of heat addition and in turn the length. Recent efforts of simulating the reacting flow inside scramjet combustors are encouraging and can be useful in this regard. The presented work attempts to use simulation results of scramjet combustion for predicting the constant area section length for a typical scramjet combustor.
Journal Article

Numerical Investigation of Effects of G-Jitter on Buoyant Laminar Diffusion Flame

Abstract Numerical prediction of a confined, co-flowing, laminar jet diffusion flame has been investigated under sinusoidal “g-jitter” to describe the flame structure; this type of flame-body force interaction is typical of a microgravity environment such as in the spacecraft. We introduced g-jitter in the direction orthogonal to the fuel and air inflow. We show that the lower frequencies (0.1-0.5 Hz) of sinusoidal g-jitter significantly affected the flame geometry and behavior. The majority of the flame structure was found to oscillate directly in response to the imposed g-jitter. It has also been observed that nonlinearity in the response behaviors is more prominent in the reaction zone of the flame.
Journal Article

Microturbine Blade Cooling

Abstract The main technical barrier to commercial use of microturbines is its low efficiency, not exceeding 15%. Efficiency and specific power are as high as the Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT), generally limited to 950°C in microturbines, as its tiny rotors make internal blade cooling impossible. This work uses Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to develop an external cooling system of the blades of a microturbine by incorporating a compressor into the disk to blow air over the blades’ walls. The engine used as the basis of the work is the FD-3/64. The work was divided into two steps. In the first, Step 1, the reactive flow in the combustor was simulated to obtain the boundary conditions for Step 2. In Step 2, the flow through the turbine wheel during rotation is simulated. Four rotor models were simulated.
Journal Article

3D-CFD-Study of Aerodynamic Losses in Compressor Impellers

Abstract Due to the increasing requirements for efficiency, the wide range of characteristics and the improved possibilities of modern development and production processes, compressors in turbochargers have become more individualized in order to adapt to the requirements of internal combustion engines. An understanding of the working mechanisms as well as an understanding of the way that losses occur in the flow allows a reduced development effort during the optimization process. This article presents three-dimensional (3D) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) investigations of the loss mechanisms and quantitative calculations of individual losses. The 3D-CFD method used in this article will reduce the drawbacks of one-dimensional calculation as far as possible. For example, the twist of the blades is taken into account and the “discrete” method is used for loss calculation instead of the “average” method.
Journal Article

Computational Fluid Dynamic Simulation of In-Cylinder Pressures to Validate High-Range VCR

Abstract This article serves as a proof-of-concept and feasibility analysis regarding a variable compression ratio (VCR) engine design utilizing an exhaust valve opening during the compression stroke to vary the compression ratio instead of the traditional method of changing the cylinder or piston geometry patented by Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Peugeot, Gomecsys, et al. [1]. In this concept, an additional exhaust valve opening was used to reduce the virtual compression ratio of the engine, without geometric changes. A computational fluid dynamic model in ANSYS Forte was used to simulate a single-cylinder, cold flow, four-stroke, direct injection engine cycle. In this model, the engine was simulated at a compression ratio of 10:1. Then, the model was modified to a compression ratio of 17:1. Then, an additional valve opening at the end of the compression stroke was added to the 17:1 high compression model.
Journal Article

An Approach for Heavy-Duty Vehicle-Level Engine Brake Performance Evaluation

Abstract An innovative analysis approach to evaluate heavy-duty vehicle downhill engine brake performance was developed. The vehicle model developed with GT-Drive simulates vehicle downhill control speeds with different engine brake retarding powers, transmission gears, and vehicle weights at sea level or high altitude. The outputs are then used to construct multi-factor parametric design charts. The charts can be used to analyze the vehicle-level engine brake capabilities or compare braking performance difference between different engine brake configurations to quantify the risk of engine retarding power deficiency at both sea level and high altitude downhill driving conditions.
Journal Article

Development of a Standard Testing Method for Vehicle Cabin Air Quality Index

Abstract Vehicle cabin air quality depends on various parameters such as number of passengers, fan speed, and vehicle speed. In addition to controlling the temperature inside the vehicle, HVAC control system has evolved to improve cabin air quality as well. However, there is no standard test method to ensure reliable and repeatable comparison among different cars. The current study defined Cabin Air Quality Index (CAQI) and proposed a test method to determine CAQI. CAQIparticles showed dependence on the choice of metrics among particle number (PN), particle surface area (PS), and particle mass (PM). CAQIparticles is less than 1 while CAQICO2 is larger than 1. The proposed test method is promising but needs further improvement for smaller coefficient of variations (COVs).
Journal Article

Electrifying Long-Haul Freight—Part I: Review of Drag, Rolling Resistance, and Weight Reduction Potential

Abstract Electric heavy-duty tractor-trailers (EHDTT) offer an important option to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) for the transportation sector. However, to increase the range of the EHDTT, this effort investigates critical vehicle design features that demonstrate a gain in overall freight efficiency of the vehicle. Specifically, factors affecting aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and gross vehicle weight are essential to arrive at practical input parameters for a comprehensive numerical model of the EHDTT, developed by the authors in a subsequent paper. For example, drag reduction devices like skirts, deturbulators, vortex generators, covers, and other commercially available apparatuses result in an aggregated coefficient of drag of 0.367. Furthermore, a mixed utilization of single-wide tires and dual tires allows for an optimized trade-off between low rolling resistance tires, traction, and durability.
Journal Article

Implementation and Optimization of a Variable-Speed Coolant Pump in a Powertrain Cooling System

Abstract This study investigates methods to precisely control a coolant pump in an internal combustion engine. The goal of this research is to minimize power consumption while still meeting optimal performance, reliability and durability requirements for an engine at all engine-operating conditions. This investigation achieves reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions, and improved powertrain performance. Secondary impacts include cleaner air for the earth, reduced operating costs for the owner, and compliance with US regulatory requirements. The study utilizes mathematical modeling of the cooling system using heat transfer, pump laws, and boiling analysis to set limits to the cooling system and predict performance changes.
Journal Article

Numerical Investigation of the Characteristics of Spray/Wall Interaction with Hybrid Breakup Model by Considering Nozzle Exit Turbulence

Abstract The spray/wall interaction plays a significant role on the mixture formation, combustion, and exhaust emissions. In the present study, the numerical code General Transport Equation Analysis (GTEA) is used to investigate the effect of fuel primary spray on the spray/wall interaction process. Taylor Analogy Breakup (TAB) model, Kelvin-Helmholtz-Rayleigh-Taylor (KH-RT) model, and Hybrid breakup (Hybrid) model are used to simulate the fuel spray process. By comparing the radius and height of the impinged spray, the performance of these breakup models is evaluated. Then, Bai and Gosman (BG) and Zhang and Jia (ZJ) spray/wall interaction models are implemented into GTEA code to describe the complicated spray/wall interaction process, and these interaction models are validated by the radius and height of the impinged spray and the size and velocity of the secondary droplets.
Journal Article

A Refined 0D Turbulence Model to Predict Tumble and Turbulence in SI Engines

Abstract In this work, the refinement of a phenomenological turbulence model developed in recent years by the authors is presented in detail. As known, reliable information about the underlying turbulence intensity is a mandatory prerequisite to predict the burning rate in phenomenological combustion models. The model is embedded under the form of “user routine” in the GT-Power™ software. The main advance of the proposed approach is the potential to describe the effects on the in-cylinder turbulence of some geometrical parameters, such as the intake runner orientation, the compression ratio, the bore-to-stroke ratio, and the valve number. The model is based on three balance equations, referring to the mean flow kinetic energy, the tumble vortex momentum, and the turbulent kinetic energy (3-eq. concept). An extended formulation is also proposed, which includes a fourth equation for the dissipation rate, allowing to forecast also the integral length scale (4-eq. concept).
Journal Article

The Key Role of Advanced, Flexible Fuel Injection Systems to Match the Future CO2 Targets in an Ultra-Light Mid-Size Diesel Engine

Abstract The article describes the results achieved in developing a new diesel combustion system for passenger car application that, while capable of high power density, delivers excellent fuel economy through a combination of mechanical and thermodynamic efficiencies improvement. The project stemmed from the idea that, by leveraging the high fuel injection pressure of last generation common rail systems, it is possible to reduce the engine peak firing pressure (pfp) with great benefits on reciprocating and rotating components’ light-weighting and friction for high-speed light-duty engines, while keeping the power density at competitive levels. To this aim, an advanced injection system concept capable of injection pressure greater than 2500 bar was coupled to a prototype engine featuring newly developed combustion system. Then, the matching among these features has been thoroughly experimentally examined.