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Technical Paper

Vehicle Cross Wind Air Flow Analysis

CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) has been used to analyze vehicle air flow. In cross wind conditions an asymmetrical flow field around the vehicle is present. Under these circumstances, in addition to the forces present with symmetric air flow (drag and lift forces and pitching moment), side forces and moments (rolling and yawing) occur. Issues related to fuel economy, driveability, sealing effects (caused by suction exerted on the door), structural integrity (sun roof, spoiler), water management (rain deposit), and dirt deposit (shear stress) have been investigated. Due to the software developments and computer hardware improvements, results can be obtained within a reasonable time frame with excellent accuracy (both geometry and analytical solution). The flow velocity, streamlines, pressure field, and component forces can be extracted from the analysis results through visualization to identify potential improvement areas.
Technical Paper

Vapor-Locking Tendencies of Fuels A Practical Approach

THIS paper describes what the authors consider to be a simplified method of determining the vapor-locking tendencies of gasolines. The study of vapor lock was undertaken after they found the Reid vapor pressure method to be inadequate. The result of their work was the development of the General Motors vapor pressure, a single number which predicts vapor-locking tendency. The authors point out the following advantages of the new method: It allows direct comparisons of vapor-lock test results of different reference fuel systems; establishes distribution curves of volatility requirements of cars for vapor-lock free operation and of vapor-locking tendencies of gasolines; is a common reference value for both petroleum and automotive engineers. Finally, it more realistically evaluates the effects of small weathering losses on vapor-locking tendency than does Rvp.
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 Effects of Trip Length and Oil Type (Synthetic Versus Mineral Oil) on Engine Damage and Engine-Oil Degradation in a Driving Test of a Vehicle with a 5.7L V-8 Engine

Extending engine-oil-change intervals is of interest from the standpoint of reducing used oil disposal and reducing time and expense of maintenance. However, the oil must be changed before serious oil degradation and engine damage occur. Three variables which influence oil degradation were chosen for investigation: base oil composition (synthetic oil versus mineral oil), trip length (short trips versus long trips), and driving schedule (degrading an oil during a given type of service, then changing to another type of service without an intervening oil change). Analysis of oil samples taken throughout the testing program indicated that type of service (freeway compared to short trip) influenced oil degradation to a greater extent than oil type. That is, API SG-quality synthetic oil in short-trip service degraded faster than borderline SG-quality mineral oil in long-trip service.
Technical Paper

The Car as a Peripheral, Adapting a Portable Computer to a Vehicle Intranet

This paper discusses the feasibility and issues associated with integrating a consumer off-the shelf product into a vehicle. For this evaluation, we selected a handheld personal computer (HPC), cellular telephone and modem to integrate with the vehicle audio, climate and system controls. Connectivity between the HPC and the vehicle is established by the use of the standard infrared serial data link that comes with the HPC. Connectivity outside the vehicle uses a cellular telephone for voice and a cellular digital packet data (CDPD) modem for data. This system is built into the Dodge ESX-2 hybrid powered concept vehicle for demonstration.
Technical Paper

The Behavior of Multiphase Fuel-Flow in the Intake Port

Most of the current fuel supply specifications, including the key parameters in the transient fuel control strategies, are experimentally determined since the complexity of multiphase fuel flow behavior inside the intake manifold is still not quantitatively understood. Optimizing these specifications, especially the parameters in transient fueling systems, is a key issue in improving fuel efficiency and reducing exhaust emissions. In this paper, a model of fuel spray, wall-film flow and wall-film vaporization has been developed to gain a better understanding of the multiphase fuel-flow behavior within the intake manifold which may help to determine the fuel supply specifications in a multi-point injection system.
Technical Paper

The Application of Graphics Engineering to Gear Design

A highly competitive market and increased emphasis on quality have gear designers searching for additional tools to produce accurate gearsets in a condensed timeframe. To meet this challenge, a Graphics Engineering method has been developed to enhance traditional gear design techniques. Graphics Engineering links interactive graphics, finite element analysis and solid modeling into a graphics/analysis development package. Starting with gear and cutter data derived by conventional techniques, it provides cutter paths and involute profiles for geometry, strength, and physical property analysis. The comprehensive data obtained through Graphics Engineering provides a powerful tool for the gear designer to increase gearset accuracy and reduce design iterations.
Technical Paper

The 1997 Chevrolet Corvette Structure Architecture Synthesis

This paper describes the design, synthesis-analysis and development of the unique vehicle structure architecture for the fifth generation Chevrolet Corvette, ‘C5’, which starts in the 1997 model year. The innovative structural layout of the ‘C5’ enables torsional rigidity in an open roof vehicle which exceeds that of all current production open roof vehicles by a wide margin. The first structural mode of the ‘C5’ in open roof configuration approaches typical values measured in similar size fixed roof vehicles. Extensive use of CAE and a systems methodology of benchmarking and requirements rolldown were employed to develop the ‘C5’ vehicle architecture. Simple computer models coupled with numerical optimization were used early in the design process to evaluate every design concept and alternative iteration for mass and structural efficiency.
Technical Paper

The 1978 Chrysler Torque Converter Lock-Up Clutch

A torque converter lock-up clutch was introduced by Chrysler Corporation in a majority of its passenger cars in the 1978 model year. The lock-up clutch improves fuel economy by eliminating torque converter slip in direct gear above a predetermined speed. The clutch and its controls were designed to fit within the confines of the existing transmission. The development of the clutch was primarily concerned with achieving adequate endurance life, good shift quality and isolation of torsional vibrations.
Technical Paper

Technical Highlights of the Dodge Compressed Natural Gas Ram Van/Wagon

An OEM Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) has been developed to address recently enacted Clean-Fuel Vehicle legislation. The NGV incorporates advanced fuel storage and fuel metering technologies to produce very low emissions and to provide superior customer value compared to aftermarket conversion units.
Technical Paper


TFC/IW, total fuel consumption divided by inertia (test) weight is a useful concept in analyzing the total or composite fuel economy generated in thousands of tests using the carbon balance technique in EPA Federal Test Procedure and Highway Driving Cycle. TFC/IW is a measure of drive train efficiency that requires no additional complicating assumptions. It is applicable to one test or a fleet representing many tests.
Technical Paper

Structural Composite Floorpan: Design Synthesis, Prototype, Build and Test

A design synthesis approach is used to design and analyze a Resin-Transfer-Molded (RTM) composite floorpan to meet the product requirements and assess the structural performance. The design envelope is based on packaging constraints representative of a production vehicle to ensure a feasible design intent. Finite element analysis of the composite design is used to guide the design and integrate all of the product performance requirements to achieve a feasible design concept. Issues discussed include the design and analysis, design features, composite material tailoring, prototype fabrication, vehicle build, and product validation. Stiffness, strength and durability tests were performed on the floorpan and the fully trimmed vehicle, and all requirements were met.
Technical Paper

Statistical Decision Making in FMVSS Testing

This paper presents a method of accounting for sample variability and sample size in establishing the acceptable bogey levels. The technique makes use of the statistical tolerance theory which accounts for the variability of the sample mean and standard deviation by determining a K-factor adjusted for sample size. The result is a tolerance that is reasonably assumed to cover a specified fraction of the population of parts. The technique, although not as simple as a fixed bogey, does discriminate between designs with different levels of energy management robustness.
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.
Journal Article

Signal Processing for Rough Road Detection

Misfire diagnostics are required to detect missed combustion events which may cause an increase in emissions and a reduction in performance and fuel economy. If the misfire detection system is based on crankshaft speed measurement, driveline torque variations due to rough road can hinder the diagnosis of misfire. A common method of rough road detection uses the ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) module to process wheel speed sensor data. This leads to multiple integration issues including complexities in interacting with multiple suppliers, inapplicability in certain markets and lower reliability of wheel speed sensors. This paper describes novel rough road detection concepts based on signal processing and statistical analysis without using wheel speed sensors. These include engine crankshaft and Transmission Output Speed (TOS) sensing information. Algorithms that combine adaptive signal processing and specific statistical analysis of this information are presented.
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

Rear Full Overlap High Speed Car-to-Car Impact Simulation

A rear full overlap car-to-car high speed impact simulation using the DYNA3D Finite Element Software was performed to examine the crush mode for rear structure of a vehicle and to observe the effect of rear bumper system in order to maintain the fuel system integrity. The study was conducted first for two different bumper system configurations, namely: (1) validating the model for struck vehicle with steel rear bumper system, (2) simulating rear end collision with composite rear bumper system attached to the rear rails of struck vehicle. Later a third simulation of the model was conducted with a viable design modification to the composite bumper system for improved crashworthiness. It was identified that a more comprehensive FEA model of the bullet car including front end structure, powertrain components, cooling system and other components which constitute the load paths should be incorporated in the analysis to obtain more meaningful correlation and crashworthiness prediction.
Technical Paper

Plasma Jet Ignition of Lean Mixtures

The development of a plasma jet ignition system is described on a 4-cyl, 140 in3 engine. Performance was evaluated on the basis of combustion flame photographs in a single-cylinder engine at 20/1 A/F dynamometer tests on a modified 4-cyl engine, and cold start emissions, fuel economy, and drivability in a vehicle at 19/1 air fuel ratio. In addition to adjustable engine variables such as air-fuel ratio and spark advance, system electrical and mechanical parameters were varied to improve combustion of lean mixtures. As examples, the air-fuel ratio range was 16-22/1, secondary ignition current was varied from 40 to 6000 mA, and plasma jet cavity and electrode geometry were optimized. It is shown that the plasma jet produces on ignition source which penetrates the mixture ahead of the initial flame front and reduces oxides of nitrogen emission, in comparison to a conventional production combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Permeation of Gasoline-Alcohol Fuel Blends Through High-Density Polyethylene Fuel Tanks with Different Barrier Technologies

The automobile industry has been using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) as a material to fabricate fuel tanks. Because untreated HDPE is permeable to the primary constituents of gasoline, these fuel tanks are now being produced with various barrier technologies that significantly reduce this permeation rate. Four currently available barrier technologies are fluorination, sulfonation, coextrusion, and the laminar barrier technology. These technologies have successfully proven to decrease the permeation rate of pure gasoline. However, it is suspected that their effectiveness may be reduced when alcohols are introduced into the fuel blend. In this work, we determine the permeation rates of gasoline-alcohol fuel blends through HDPE by conducting tests on 22-gallon HDPE fuel tanks and on small HDPE bottles fabricated with and without these barrier technologies. The goal of this study is to provide a comprehensive evaluation of these four barrier technologies.