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Technical Paper

the potential of Unconventional Powerplants for Vehicle Propulsion

COMPARISON of work capacity per unit mass and volume of different energy carriers shows that liquid hydrocarbons are superior to other energy sources. Solar and nuclear powerplants as well as their use in conjunction with a steam engine are examined in this paper. Suitability of an electric drive is discussed. Using a production 2-stroke diesel engine and its development forecast, a comparison is made of spark ignition, diesel, and gas turbine engines. The status of the free-piston engine turbine combination is reviewed.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Crashworthiness Analysis Using Numerical Methods and Experiments

Past studies have shown the applicability of advanced numerical methods for crashworthiness simulation. Lumped parameter (LP) modeling and finite element (FE) modeling have been demonstrated as two useful methodologies for achieving this endeavor. Experimental tests and analytical modeling using LP and FE techniques were performed on an experimental vehicle in order to evaluate the compatibility and interrelationship of the two numerical methods for crashworthiness simulation. The objective of the numerical analysis was to simulate the vehicle crashworthiness in a 0 degree, 48.6 KPH frontal impact. Additionally, a single commercial software, LS-DYNA3D, was used for both the LP and FE analysis.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Crash Research and Manufacturing Experience

The search for improvements in occupant protection under vehicle impact is hampered by a real lack of reliable biomechanical data. To help fill this void, General Motors has initiated joint research with independent researchers such as the School of Medicine, U. C. L. A. – in this case to study localized head and facial trauma — and has developed such unique laboratory tools as “Tramasaf,” a human-simulating headform, and “MetNet,” a pressure-sensitive metal foam. Research applied directly to product design also has culminated in developments such as the Side-Guard Beam for side impact protection.
Technical Paper

Thermal Durability of a Ceramic Wall-Flow Diesel Filter for Light Duty Vehicles

The thermal durability of a large frontal area cordierite ceramic wall-flow filter for light-duty diesel engine is examined under various regeneration conditions. The radial temperature distribution during burner regeneration, obtained by eight different thermocouples at six different axial sections of a 75″ diameter x 8″ long filter, is used together with physical properties of the filter to compute thermal stresses via finite element analysis. The stress-time history of the filter is then compared with the strength and fatigue characteristics of extruded cordierite ceramic monolith. The successful performance of the filter over as many as 1000 regenerations is attributed to three important design parameters, namely unique filter properties, controlled regeneration conditions, and optimum packaging design. The latter induces significant radial and axial compression in the filter thereby enhancing its strength and reducing the operating stresses.
Technical Paper

The Use of Finite Element Analysis to Predict Body Build Distortion

Finite element methods can be used to simulate a class of variation problems induced by build distortion in the assembly process. The FEM approach was used to study two representative assembly problems: 1) Front fender mounting and resulting distortion due to various fastening sequences; and, 2) Coupe door assembly process and resulting deformation due to clamping and welding of flexible sheet metal parts. FEM is used to generate sensitivities of various process conditions. Correlation with measured Co-ordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) data is shown. The use of FEM to simulate manufacturing/assembly processes in the automotive industry is in it's infancy. As the new methods are developed this capability can be used to study the assembly process and provide guidance in designing more robust parts and assembly processes.
Technical Paper

The Electronically Controlled 6.5L Diesel Engine

For model year 1994, General Motors has completed the roll out of the 6.5L Diesel Engine, with the introduction of the light duty certified naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines. At the heart of the expanded use of the 6.5L is a new electronic powertrain control system. The objectives for this system were to produce an engine that has less variation, is easier to assemble, low cost and capable of meeting both heavy and light duty future emissions requirements. Control features include Fuel Quantity and Timing, EGR, Wastegate, Glow Plugs, Transmission, Cruise Control and Diagnostics.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Limiting Shoulder Belt Load with Air Bag Restraint

The dilemma of using a shoulder belt force limiter with a 3-point belt system is selecting a limit load that will balance the reduced risk of significant thoracic injury due to the shoulder belt loading of the chest against the increased risk of significant head injury due to the greater upper torso motion allowed by the shoulder belt load limiter. However, with the use of air bags, this dilemma is more manageable since it only occurs for non-deploy accidents where the risk of significant head injury is low even for the unbelted occupant. A study was done using a validated occupant dynamics model of the Hybrid III dummy to investigate the effects that a prescribed set of shoulder belt force limits had on head and thoracic responses for 48 and 56 km/h barrier simulations with driver air bag deployment and for threshold crash severity simulations with no air bag deployment.
Technical Paper

Synthesis of Chassis Parameters for Ride and Handling on the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette

This paper describes the performance attributes of the all-new front and rear SLA (short-long arm) suspensions, steering system, and tires of the 1997 Corvette. The process by which these subsystem attributes flowed down from vehicle-level requirements for ride and handling performance is briefly described. Additionally, where applicable, specific subsystem attributes are rationalized back to a corresponding vehicle-level performance requirement. Suspension kinematic and compliance characteristics are described and contrasted to those of the previous generation (1984 to 1996 Model Year) Corvette. Both synthesis/analysis activities as well as mule-level vehicle development work are cited for their roles in mapping out specific subsystem attributes and related vehicle performance.
Technical Paper

Size, Weight and Biomechanical Impact Response Requirements for Adult Size Small Female and Large Male Dummies

This paper summarizes the rationale used to specify the geometric, inertial and impact response requirements for a small adult female dummy and a large adult male dummy with impact biofidelity and measurement capacity comparable to the Hybrid III dummy, the most advanced midsize adult male dummy. Body segment lengths and weights for these two dummies were based on the latest anthropometry studies for the extremes of the U.S.A. adult population. Other characteristic body segment dimensions were calculated from geometric and mass scaling relationships that assured that each body segment had the same mass density as the corresponding body segment of the Hybrid III dummy. The biomechanical impact response requirements for the head, neck, chest and knee of the Hybrid III dummy were scaled to give corresponding biomechanical impact response requirements for each dummy.
Technical Paper

Simulation of the Hybrid III Dummy Response to Impact by Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis

The Hybrid III dummy is an anthropomorphic (humanlike) test device, generally used in crashworthiness testing to assess the extent of occupant protection provided by the vehicle structure and its restraint systems in the event of vehicle crash. Lumped-parameter analytical models are commonly used to simulate the dummy response. These models, by virtue of their limited number of degrees of freedom, can neither represent accurate three-dimensional dummy geometry nor detailed structural deformations. In an effort to improve the state-of-the-art in analytical dummy simulations, a set of finite element models of the Hybrid III dummy segments - head, neck, thorax, spine, pelvis, knee, upper extremities and lower extremities - were developed. The component models replicated the hardware geometry as closely as possible. Appropriate elastic material models were selected for the dummy “skeleton”, with the exterior “soft tissues” represented by viscoelastic materials.
Technical Paper

Significance of Intersection Crashes for Older Drivers

As the driving population ages, there is a need to understand the accident patterns of older drivers. Previous research has shown that side impact collisions, usually at an intersection, are a serious problem for the older driver in terms of injury outcome. This study compares the frequency of side impact, intersection collisions of different driver age groups using state and national police-reported accident data as well as an in-depth analysis of cases from a fatal accident study. All data reveal that the frequency of intersection crashes increases with driver age. The state and national data show that older drivers have an increase frequency of intersection crashes involving vehicles crossing paths prior to the collision compared to their involvement in all crash types. When taking into account traffic control devices at an intersection, older drivers have the greatest involvement of multiple vehicle crashes at a signed intersection.
Technical Paper

Selection and Development of a Particulate Trap System for a Light Duty Diesel Engine

In order to meet progressively stringent regulations on particulate emission from diesel engines, GM has developed and tested a variety of trap oxidizer systems over the years. A particulate trap system for a light duty diesel engine has been selected and developed based on this experience, with particular emphasis on production feasibility. The system components have been designed and developed in collaboration with potential suppliers, to the extent possible. The technical performance of this system has been demonstrated by successful system durability testing in the test cell and vehicle experience in computer controlled automatic operation mode. Although the system shows promise, its production readiness will require more development and extensive vehicle validation under all operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Safety Belt Buckle Environment in Vehicle Planar Crash Tests

A study was conducted by General Motors at its crash test facility located at the Milford Proving Ground. The intent of this study was to expand upon the currently available research regarding the safety belt buckle environment during full scale planar crash tests. Buckle accelerations and webbing tensions were measured and recorded to characterize, in part, buckle responses in a crash environment. Previous studies have focused primarily on the component level testing of safety belt buckles. The crash tests included a variety of vehicles, impact types, seating positions, Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs), impact speeds, and impact angles. Also included were various safety belt restraint systems and pretensioner designs. This study reports on data recorded from 100 full scale crash tests with 180 instrumented end release safety belt buckles. Acceleration measurements were obtained with tri-axial accelerometers mounted onto the buckles.
Technical Paper

SIR Sensor Closure Time Prediction for Frontal Impact Using Full Vehicle Finite Element Analysis

This paper describes an analytical method to predict the sensor closure time for an airbag (Supplemental Inflatable Restraint - SIR) system in frontal impacts. The analytical tools used are the explicit finite element code, an in-house sensor closure time prediction program, and a full vehicle finite element model. Nodal point information obtained from the full vehicle finite element simulation is used to predict the sensor closure time of the airbag system. This analytical method can provide the important crash signature information for a SIR system development of a new vehicle program. In this paper, 0-degree frontal impacts at four different impact speeds with two different bumper energy absorption systems are studied using the non-linear finite element computer program DYNA3D. It is concluded that this analytical method is very useful to predict the SIR sensor closure time.
Technical Paper

Rollover and Drop Tests - The Influence of Roof Strength on Injury Mechanics Using Belted Dummies

This report presents the test methods and results of a study involving lap/shoulder belted dummies in dynamic dolly rollover tests and inverted vehicle drop tests. Data are presented showing dummy neck loadings resulting from head impacts to the vehicle interior as the vehicle contacts the ground. Comparison of the number and magnitude of axial neckloads are presented for rollcaged and production vehicles, as well as an analysis of the factors which influence neckloads under these conditions.
Technical Paper

Rollover Sensor Signature Test Development

Although rollover crashes represent a small fraction (approximately 3%) of all motor vehicle crashes, they account for roughly one quarter of crash fatalities to occupants of cars, light trucks, and vans (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, 2004). Therefore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified rollover injuries as one of its safety priorities. Motor vehicle manufacturers are developing technologies to reduce the risk of injury associated with rollover collisions. This paper describes the development by General Motors Corporation (GM) of a suite of laboratory tests that can be used to develop sensors that can deploy occupant protection devices like roof rail side air bags and pretensioners in a rollover as well as a discussion of the challenges of conducting this suite of tests.
Technical Paper

Robust Weld Verification for Chassis Structure

The development of a major structural welded assembly is a lengthy and expensive project. The design and the development must generate a product that meets requirements and customer expectations. Product engineers and test engineers developing structural weldments are the target audience for this paper. The purpose of this paper is to describe a Design Of Experiments approach that was developed which helps provide qualitative information on a structural weldment's sensitivity to MIG weld variation.
Technical Paper

Results of the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association Component and Full-Vehicle Side Impact Test Procedure Evaluation Program

This paper presents an extensive research program undertaken to develop improved side impact test methods. The development of a component side impact test device along with an associated test procedure are reviewed. The results of accident data analysis techniques to define anatomical areas most likely to be injured during side impact and definition of test device response corridors based on human surrogate testing conducted by the Association Peugeot/Renault and the University of Heidelberg are discussed. The relationship of response corridors and accident data analysis in earlier phases of the project resulted in definition and development of a component side impact test device to represent the human thorax. A test program to evaluate and compare component and full-vehicle test results is presented.
Technical Paper

Responses of Animals Exposed to Deployment of Various Passenger Inflatable Restraint System Concepts for a Variety of Collision Severities and Animal Positions

This paper summarizes the results of tests conducted with anesthetized animals that were exposed to a wide range of passenger inflatable restraint cushion forces for a variety of impact sled - simulated accident conditions. The test configurations and inflatable restraint system concepts were selected to produce a broad spectrum of injury types and severities to the major organs of the head, neck and torso of the animals. These data were needed to interpret the significance of the responses of an instrumented child dummy that was being used to evaluate child injury potential of the passenger inflatable restraint system being developed by General Motors Corporation. Injuries ranging from no injury to fatal were observed for the head, neck and abdomen regions. Thoracic injuries ranged from no injury to critical, survival uncertain.
Technical Paper

Refinement and Verification of the Structural Stress Method for Fatigue Life Prediction of Resistance Spot Welds Under Variable Amplitude Loads

The work presented here builds on the practical and effective spot weld fatigue life prediction method, the structural stress method (SSM), that was developed at Stanford University. Constant amplitude loading tests for various spot weld joint configurations have been conducted and the SSM has been shown to accurately predict fatigue life. In this paper refinements to the structural stress approach are first presented, including a variable amplitude fatigue life prediction method based on the SSM and Palmgren-Miner's rule. A test matrix was designed to study the fatigue behavior of spot welds under tensile shear loading conditions. Constant amplitude tests under different R-ratios were performed first to obtain the necessary material properties. Variable amplitude tests were then performed for specimens containing single and multiple welds.