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Technical Paper

Vehicle Underbody Thermal Simulation Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

This study was initiated to evaluate the thermal characteristics of a vehicle underbody using math-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation based on 3-D configuration. Simulations without heat shields were carried out for different vehicle operating conditions which placed several areas at risk of exceeding their thermal design limits. Subsequently, simulations with several heat shield designs were performed. Results show that areas at risk without shields are well within thermal design limits when shielded. Part of the CFD simulation results were compared with experimental data, with reasonable correlation. The CFD approach can provide useful design information in a very short time frame.
Technical Paper

Truck Tire Force and Moment in Cornering - Braking - Driving on Ice, Snow, and Dry Surfaces

Accurate, real-world determination of tire force and moment properties is essential for computer modeling of vehicle handling. Characterizing these properties on surfaces ranging from dry pavement to snow to ice presents significant challenges. This paper reviews recent progress and results in this area for light truck tires using a test vehicle custom-designed for this purpose. It provides examples for free-rolling cornering, straight-line acceleration / braking and acceleration / braking in turns. The discussion then turns to the question of adapting the technology used to characterizing of tires for Class 8 vehicles.
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

Modeling Large Deformations Using Polycarbonate Scale Models

This paper presents a method for modeling large deformations of structures using scale plastic models. The method was used to predict the dynamic barrier crash performance of a proposed vehicle structure with the aid of a computer simulation of the collision. The use of the technique can provide design direction in the early stages of the vehicle design process.
Technical Paper

Front Suspension Multi-Axis Testing

A front suspension laboratory test procedure was developed to reproduce time-correlated fatigue damaging events from a light truck road durability test. Subsequently, the performance of front suspension systems for the GMT 400 light truck program were evaluated in terms of customer reliability. Both prototype and pilot testing, as well as computer modeling, were used in the evaluation.
Technical Paper

Experimental Analysis of Aspirating Airbag Units

Aspirating airbag modules are unique from other designs in that the gas entering the airbag is a mixture of inflator-delivered gas and ambient-temperature air entrained from the atmosphere surrounding the module. Today's sophisticated computer simulations of an airbag deployment typically require as input the mass-flow rate, chemical composition and thermal history of the gas exiting the canister and entering the airbag. While the mass-flow rate and temperature of the inflator-delivered gas can be obtained from a standard tank test, information on air entrainment into an aspirated canister is limited. The purpose of this study is to provide quantitative information about the aspirated mass-flow rate during airbag deployment. Pressure and velocity measurements are combined with high-speed photography in order to gain further insight into the relationship between the canister pressure, the rate of cabin-air entrainment and the airbag deployment.
Technical Paper

Development of the 2001 Pontiac Aztek Body Structure

This paper documents the development process of the 2001 Pontiac Aztek body structure for improved noise & vibration performance. Successful vehicle development under an accelerated timing schedule demands clearly defined body structure vibration performance targets and critical dependence on the math based modeling process. Specifications for global body structure vibration performance were generated through a two step process. First, a benchmarking activity was undertaken to comprehend competitive vehicle performance. Secondly, a frequency domain “mode map” was constructed to minimize vehicle subsystem interaction. Computer simulation models were developed to predict the body structure performance. A coarse full body structure model was used to define body structure section size and joint requirements. Detailed analysis models of body joint areas were used to synthesize the joint design.
Technical Paper

Balanced Latin Hypercube Sampling for Stochastic Simulations of Spot Welds

In performing stochastic simulations using computer models, the method of sampling is important. It affects the quality and the convergence speed of the results. This paper discusses one special case: sampling of spot-weld locations from potentially thousands of spot welds on a vehicle body. This study is prompted by the need of evaluating the effect of missed spot welds on the structural integrity, identifying critical welds, and optimizing weld locations. A balanced random sampling algorithm based on the concept of Latin-Hypercube sampling is developed for this application. We also present a case study in which the efficiency of three different sampling methods is compared using a car joint stiffness example. The new method, called the Balanced Latin-Hypercube Sampling (BLHS), has shown significantly faster convergence over the other two.
Technical Paper

Automotive Noise and Vibration Control Practices in the New Millennium

The approaches used to develop an NVH package for a vehicle have changed dramatically over the last several years. New noise and vibration control strategies have been introduced, new materials have been developed, advanced testing techniques have been implemented, and sophisticated computer modeling has been applied. These approaches help design NVH solutions that are optimized for cost, performance, and weight. This paper explains the NVH practices available for use in designing vehicles for the new millennium.