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Journal Article

Visualization of the Rotary Engine Oil Transport Mechanisms

The rotary engine provides high power density compared to piston engine, but one of its downside is higher oil consumption. In order to better understand oil transport, a laser induced fluorescence technique is used to visualize oil motion on the side of the rotor during engine operation. Oil transport from both metered oil and internal oil is observed. Starting from inside, oil accumulates in the rotor land during inward motion of the rotor created by its eccentric motion. Oil seals are then scraping the oil outward due to seal-housing clearance asymmetry between inward and outward motion. Cut-off seal does not provide an additional barrier to internal oil consumption. Internal oil then mixes with metered oil brought to the side of the rotor by gas leakage. Oil is finally pushed outward by centrifugal force, passes the side seals, and is thrown off in the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Visualization of Mixture Preparation in a Port-Fuel Injection Engine During Engine Warm-up

The fuel injection process in the port of a firing 4-valve SI engine at part load and 25°C head temperature was observed by a high speed video camera. Fuel was injected when the valve was closed. The reverse blow-down flow when the intake valve opens has been identified as an important factor in the mixture preparation process because it not only alters the thermal environment of the intake port, but also strip-atomizes the liquid film at the vicinity of the intake valve and carries the droplets away from the engine. In a series of “fuel-on” experiments, the fuel injected in the current cycle was observed to influence the fuel delivery to the engine in the subsequent cycles.
Technical Paper

Viscosity Effects on Engine Wear Under High-Temperature, High-Speed Conditions

Four multigrade engine oils, containing the same base oil plus SE additive package but VI improvers of differing shear stability, were evaluated in 80 000 km of high-speed, high-temperature vehicle service. Bearing, piston ring and valve guide wear, as well as oil consumption, oil filter plugging and engine cleanliness were all worse for the engines operated on the low-shear stability oils. The wear differences were traced to differences in high-shear-rate viscosity, while the cleanliness, filter plugging and oil consumption differences occurred because of excessive wear or polymer shear degradation. These results suggest that engine oil viscosity should be specified under high-shear-rate conditions.
Technical Paper

Variation in Cyclic Deformation and Strain-Controlled Fatigue Properties Using Different Curve Fitting and Measurement Techniques

The strain-life approach is now commonly used for fatigue life analysis and predictions in the ground vehicle industry. This approach requires the use of material properties obtained from strain-controlled uniaxial fatigue tests. These properties include fatigue strength coefficient (σf′), fatigue strength exponent (b), fatigue ductility coefficient (εf′), fatigue ductility exponent (c), cyclic strength coefficient (K′), and cyclic strain hardening exponent (n′). To obtain the aforementioned properties for the material, raw data from stable cyclic stress-strain loops are fitted in log-log scale. These data include total, elastic and plastic strain amplitudes, stress amplitude, and fatigue life. Values of the low cycle fatigue properties (σf′, b, εf′, c) determined from the raw data depend on the method of measurement and fitting. This paper examines the merits and influence of using different measurement and fitting methods on the obtained properties.
Technical Paper

The Theory of Cost Risk in Design

In a recent paper (Hoult & Meador, [1]) a novel method of estimating the costs of parts, and assemblies of parts, was presented. This paper proposed that the metric for increments of cost was the function log (dimension/tolerance). Although such log functions have a history,given in [1], starting with Boltzman and Shannon, it is curious that it arises in cost models. In particular, the thermodynamic basis of information theory, given by Shannon [2], seems quite implausible in the present context. In [1], we called the cost theory “Complexity Theory”, mainly to distinguish it from information theory. A major purpose of the present paper is to present a rigorous argument of how the log function arises in the present context. It happens that the agrument hinges on two key issues: properties of the machine making or assembling the part, and a certain limit process. Neither involves thermodynamic reasoning.
Technical Paper

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute Education and Public Outreach Program: Engaging the Public and Inspiring the Next Generation of Space Explorers

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), established in 1997, is a twelve-university consortium dedicated to research that will impact mankind's next exploratory steps. The NSBRI's Education and Public Outreach Program (EPOP), is supporting NASA's education mission to, “Inspire the next generations…as only NASA can,” through a comprehensive Kindergarten through post-doctoral education program. The goals of the EPOP are to: communicate space exploration biology to schools; support undergraduate and graduate space-based courses and degrees; fund postdoctoral fellows to pursue space life sciences research; and engage national and international audiences to promote understanding of how space exploration benefits people on Earth. NSBRI EPOP presents its accomplishments as an educational strategy for supporting science education reform, workforce development, and public outreach.
Technical Paper

The General Motors Driving Simulator

A driving simulator development project at the Systems Engineering and Technical Process Center (SE/TP) is exploring the role of driving simulation in the vehicle design process. The simulator provides two vehicle mockup testing arenas that support a wide field of view, computer-generated image of the road scene which dynamically responds to driver commands as a function of programmable vehicle model parameters. Two unique aspects of the simulator are the fast 65 ms response time and low incidence rate of simulator induced syndrome (about 5%). Preliminary model validation results and data comparing driver performance in a vehicle vs. the simulator indicate accurate handling response dynamics within the on-center handling region (<0.3g lateral acceleration). Applications have included supporting the development of new steering system concepts, as well as evaluating the usability of vehicle controls and displays.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Head Gasket Geometry on Engine-Out HC Emissions from S.I. Engines

This study evaluated multi-layer steel and composite head gaskets of various thicknesses (0.43 to 1.5 mm) and fire-ring diameters to determine the influence of head gasket crevices on engine-out hydrocarbon (HC) emissions. The upper limit in the percent reduction in HC emissions from gasket-design modifications is estimated to be about 15%. At part-load conditions, the lowest HC emissions were measured for head-gasket thickness of about 1 mm. Significantly smaller thicknesses of the order of 0.4 mm result in an increase in HC emissions. Substantial hydrocarbon-emissions advantage may be realized by minimizing the gasket-to-cylinder bore offset.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Crevices on the Engine-Out Hydrocarbon Emissions in SI Engines

To understand the effects of crevices on the engine-out hydrocarbon emissions, a series of engine experiments was carried out with different piston crevice volumes and with simulated head gasket crevices. The engine-out HC level was found to be modestly sensitive to the piston crevice size in both the warmed-up and the cold engines, but more sensitive to the crevice volume in the head gasket region. A substantial decrease in HC in the cold-to-warm-up engine transition was observed and is attributed mostly to the change in port oxidation.
Technical Paper

The Bulge of Tubes and a Failure Criterion for Tube Hydroforming

The bulge test in hydroforming is a simple fundamental experiment used to obtain basic knowledge in tube expansion. The results can be used to assist design and manufacturing of hydroformed automotive parts. It also can be used to develop a failure criterion for tubes in hydroforming. For these purposes, a section of a long unsupported tube with fixed ends was simulated numerically to obtain the mechanical states of the tube subjected to internal pressure. Steel and aluminum tubes are used. For the bulge tests, the internal pressure reaches a maximum and then decreases in value without failure while the stress, strain and volume of the tube keep increasing. A failure criterion for the bursting of a tube is proposed based on the stress-strain curve of the material.
Technical Paper

The Automotive Primary Power Supply System

This paper describes the major electrical characteristics of the automotive power supply system. It is a compilation of existing data and new information that will be helpful to both the electrical component and electronic assembly designers. Previously available battery/alternator data is organized to be useful to the designer. New dynamic information on battery impedance is displayed along with “cogging” transients, regulation limits and load dump characteristics.
Technical Paper

The Application of Direct Body Excitation Toward Developing a Full Vehicle Objective Squeak and Rattle Metric

In order to engineer Squeak & Rattle (S&R) free vehicles it is essential to develop an objective measurement method to compare and correlate with customer satisfaction and subjective S&R assessments. Three methods for exciting S&Rs -type surfaces. Excitation methods evaluated were road tests over S&R surfaces, road simulators, and direct body excitation (DBE). The principle of DBE involves using electromagnetic shakers to induce controlled, road-measured vibration into the body, bypassing the tire patch and suspension. DBE is a promising technology for making objective measurements because it is extremely quiet (test equipment noise does not mask S&Rs), while meeting other project goals. While DBE is limited in exposing S&Rs caused by body twist and suspension noises, advantages include higher frequency energy owing to electro-dynamic shakers, continuous random excitation, lower capital cost, mobility, and safety.
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

Studying Valve Dynamics with Electronic Computers

Dynamic conditions of automotive type valve trains have been investigated by means of digital computers. It has been possible to include the effect of such nonlinearities as valve lash, linkage separation, valve seating, and valve spring surge. Comparison with experimental results has shown that computer solutions are realistic. The advantage of being able to simulate and predict performance of any proposed type of valve train is obvious. This paper presents methods of approach for analyzing valve dynamics, correlation of computed results with experimental values, and examples of application of interrelated methods. Included in this paper are: (1) Methods of approach for analyzing valve dynamics, (2) Correlation of computed results with experimental values and, (3) Examples of application of interrelated methods.
Technical Paper

Streamlining Chassis Tuning for Chevrolet and GMC Trucks and Vans

This paper describes some methods for greatly reducing or possibly eliminating subjective tuning of suspension parts for ride and handling. Laptop computers can now be used in the vehicle to guide the tuning process. The same tools can be used to select solutions that reduce sensitivity to production and environmental variations. OBJECTIVE Reduce or eliminate time required for tuning of suspension parts for ride characteristics. Improve the robustness of ride performance relative to variations in ambient temperature and production tolerances. PROBLEM REQUIRING SOLUTION AND METHOD OF APPROACH Traditional development programs for new vehicles include time-consuming subjective ride evaluations. One example is shock absorber tuning. Even if sophisticated models define force-velocity curves, numerous hardware iterations are needed to find valvings that will reproduce the curves. Many evaluation rides are needed to modify the valvings to meet performance targets.
Technical Paper

Space Life Support from the Cellular Perspective

Determining the fundamental role of gravity in vital biological systems in space is one of six science and research areas that provides the philosophical underpinning for why NASA exists. The study of cells, tissues, and microorganisms in a spaceflight environment holds the promise of answering multiple intriguing questions about how gravity affects living systems. To enable these studies, specimens must be maintained in an environment similar to that used in a laboratory. Cell culture studies under normal laboratory conditions involve maintaining a highly specialized environment with the necessary temperature, humidity control, nutrient, and gas exchange conditions. These same cell life support conditions must be provided by the International Space Station (ISS) Cell Culture Unit (CCU) in the unique environment of space. The CCU is a perfusion-based system that must function in microgravity, at unit gravity (1g) on earth, and from 0.1g up to 2g aboard the ISS centrifuge rotor.
Technical Paper

Sound Quality of Impulsive Noises: An Applied Study of Automotive Door Closing Sounds

This paper discusses four general attributes which quantify the character of an impulsive sound event. These attributes include the time duration, amplitude and frequency content of the impulsive noise. A three dimensional plot relating time, frequency and amplitude have been developed for the presentation of the measured data. This format allows graphic illustration of the noise event, providing fast interpretation and communication of the measured sound. Application of this methodology to the sound of an automotive door closing event is presented here. Representative door closing sound events are analyzed, with correlation presented between the attributes above to dynamic events of the physical hardware within the door and vehicle systems. Modifications of the door-in-white, internal door hardware, seal systems and additional content are investigated for their effect on the sound quality of the door closing event. Finally, recommended values for these attributes are presented.
Technical Paper

Running Loss Test Procedure Development

A running loss test procedure has been developed which integrates a point-source collection method to measure fuel evaporative running loss from vehicles during their operation on the chassis dynamometer. The point-source method is part of a complete running loss test procedure which employs the combination of site-specific collection devices on the vehicle, and a sampling pump with sampling lines. Fugitive fuel vapor is drawn into these collectors which have been matched to characteristics of the vehicle and the test cell. The composite vapor sample is routed to a collection bag through an adaptation of the ordinary constant volume dilution system typically used for vehicle exhaust gas sampling. Analysis of the contents of such bags provides an accurate measure of the mass and species of running loss collected during each of three LA-4* driving cycles. Other running loss sampling methods were considered by the Auto-Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program (AQIRP or Program).
Technical Paper

Rotary Valve Revolution

Rotary valves should pose a credible threat to other mechanical valve systems-such as poppet valves-but they have been unable to infiltrate the automotive market. Using Axiomatic Design we have identified significant design problems with existing rotary valves which have prevented their wide-spread use. In addition, we have proposed an innovative solution which removes some couplings in existing rotary valve systems and could potentially be used in automotive applications, although further work must still be performed.
Technical Paper

Research Alliances, A Strategy for Progress

In today's business climate rapid access to, and implementation of, new technology is essential to enhance competitive advantage. In the past, universities have been used for research contracts, but to fully utilize the intellectual resources of education institutions, it is essential to approach these relationships from a new basis: alliance. Alliances permit both parties to become active participants and achieve mutually beneficial goals. This paper will examine the drivers and challenges for industrial -- university alliances from both the industrial and academic perspectives.