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Technical Paper

Weathering of Black Plastics for Automotive Exteriors

Ten mold-in-color black polymers were evaluated for exterior weathering in an attempt to improve the specifications for exterior mold-in-color plastics to meet five year durability for a 95th percentile sunbelt customer. Four different weathering methods were utilized including Arizona exposure, Florida exposure, and Xenon arc exposures per the GMNA and the GM Europe methods. Colorfastness, gloss retention and other material property changes due to weathering were measured and analyzed against two GM durability standards. For the appearance attributes, correlations between actual exposure and accelerated exposure were attempted. Test results before and after polishing were also analyzed. Finally, in addition to comparing the performance of the ten polymers, the four weathering methods are compared and discussed with recommendations for the preferred testing regimen.
Technical Paper

Virtual FMEA and Its Application to Software Verification of Electric Power Steering System

This paper presents the “Virtual Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (vFMEA)” system, which is a high-fidelity electrical-failure-simulation platform, and applies it to the software verification of an electric power steering (EPS) system. The vFMEA system enables engineers to dynamically inject a drift fault into a circuit model of the electronic control unit (ECU) of an EPS system, to analyze system-level failure effects, and to verify software-implemented safety mechanisms, which consequently reduces both cost and time of development. The vFMEA system can verify test cases that cannot be verified using an actual ECU and can improve test coverage as well. It consists of a cycle-accurate microcontroller model with mass-production software implemented in binary format, analog and digital circuit models, mechanical models, and a state-triggered fault-injection mechanism.
Technical Paper

Virtual FMEA : Simulation-Based ECU Electrical Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

“Virtual Failure Mode and Effects Analysis” (vFMEA), a novel safety-verification method of control software for automotive electronic systems, was proposed to save prototyping cost at verification stage. The proposed vFMEA is system-level FMEA method, which uses virtualized electronic control units (ECUs) consisting of microcontroller models on a microcontroller simulator and a transistor-level circuit models on a circuit simulator. By using the structure, the control software in binary code formats can be verified when a circuit-level fault occurs in the ECU hardware. As an illustrative example, vFMEA was applied to an engine ECU. As a result of short-circuit fault into a driver IC, engine revolution and engine speed decreased. However, the engine continued to operate normally when an open-circuit fault occurred in a capacitor connected in parallel. Effects of the hardware faults in ECU on a vehicle are demonstrated; thereby software verification can be performed using vFMEA system.
Technical Paper

Transient Vibration Simulation of Motor Gearbox Assembly Driven by a PWM Inverter

Predicting the vibration of a motor gearbox assembly driven by a PWM inverter in the early stages of development is demanding because the assembly is one of the dominant noise sources of electric vehicles (EVs). In this paper, we propose a simulation model that can predict the transient vibration excited by gear meshing, reaction force from the mount, and electromagnetic forces including the carrier frequency component of the inverter up to 10 kHz. By utilizing the techniques of structural model reduction and state space modeling, the proposed model can predict the vibration of assembly in the operating condition with a system level EV simulator. A verification test was conducted to compare the simulation results with the running test results of the EV.
Technical Paper

The Modified Martempering and its Effect on the Impact Toughness of a Cold Work Tool Steel

The so-called Modified Martempering discussed in this work differs from the standard martempering by that the temperature of the quenching bath is below the Ms point. In spite of the fact the lower temperature increases the severity of quenching, this also usually avoids the bainite formation, and by this reason, it is possible to make a fair comparison between different processes, which result in different microstructures. The present study shows the results in terms of mechanical properties, impact resistance in special of a cold work tool steel class, after being heat treated by the isothermal modified martempering process, as well as a comparison with the conventional quenching and tempering process and the austempering as well.
Technical Paper

The Evolution of Microelectronics in Automotive Modules

It has the aim to discuss the evolution of electronics components, integrated circuits, new transistors concepts and associate its importance in the automotive modules. Today, the challenge is to have devices which consume less power, suitable for high-energy radiation environment, less parasitic capacitances, high speed, easier device isolation, high gain, easier scale-down of threshold voltage, no latch-up and higher integration density. The improvement of those characteristics mentioned and others in the electronic devices enable the automotive industry to have a more robust product and give the possibility to integrate new features in comfort, safety, infotainment and telematics modules. Finally, the intention is to discuss advanced structures, such as the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and show how it affects the electronics modules applied for the automotive area.
Journal Article

Tensile Deformation and Fracture of TRIP590 Steel from Digital Image Correlation

Quasi-static tensile properties of TRIP590 steels from three different manufacturers were investigated using digital image correlation (DIC). The focus was on the post-uniform elongation behavior which can be very different for steels of the same grade owing to different manufacturing processes. Miniature tensile specimens, cut at 0°, 45°, and 90° relative to the rolling direction, were strained to failure in an instrumented tensile stage. True stress-true strain curves were computed from digital strain gages superimposed on digital images captured from one gage section surface during tensile deformation. Microstructural phases in undeformed and fracture specimens were identified with optical microscopy using the color tint etching process. Fracture surface analyses conducted with scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy were used to investigate microvoids and inclusions in all materials.
Technical Paper

Structural and Cost Evaluation of Snap Fits used in Connections of Vehicle Door Trim Panel Components with FEA Assist

Among the most important finishing structures of a vehicle interior, the door trim panels reduce external noises, present ergonomic concepts generating comfort, improve appearance, and provide objects storage, knobs and buttons. The panels usually composed of several molded parts (trim, armrest, etc.) connected to each other also have structural function as support closing loads, protect occupants of door internal mechanisms, energy absorption in side impacts and resist misuse conditions. Therefore, these trims usually made of polymeric materials must to present good structural integrity, demanding appropriate connections between components to have good load distribution. The connections between parts can be made using bolts, interference fits (like self-locking), welding tubular plastic towers (heat stakes), or clips (such as snap fits) and last two are the most common due to be cheap and with good retention.
Technical Paper

Simulating Complex Automotive Assembly Tasks using the HUMOSIM Framework

Efficient methods for simulating operators performing part handling tasks in manufacturing plants are needed. The simulation of part handling motions is an important step towards the implementation of virtual manufacturing for the purpose of improving worker productivity and reducing injuries in the workplace. However, industrial assembly tasks are often complex and involve multiple interactions between workers and their environment. The purpose of this paper is to present a series of industrial simulations using the Human Motion Simulation Framework developed at the University of Michigan. Three automotive assembly operations spanning scenarios, such as small and large parts, tool use, walking, re-grasping, reaching inside a vehicle, etc. were selected.
Technical Paper

Simplified Approach for Formability Simulation of Automotive Body Structures

This paper presents a simplified approach for formability simulation of automotive body structural sections in the early design stage of vehicle development process. Plane strain approach is investigated for its applicability and accuracy by comparing the analytical results with the measured results of automotive body side panel. The plane strain approach was tried based on the fact that for a certain section location of a stamped panel, the minor strains are relatively small and negligible compared to the major strains. The state of plane strain can be induced mainly through symmetry and applied boundary conditions. This approach is both cost effective and time saving for analyzing sheet metal formability in early vehicle development stage, since only few sections of the entire panel need be analyzed.
Technical Paper

Recycling Study of Post-Consumer Radiator End Caps

In June 1997, the Vehicle Recycling Partnership (VRP) and the American Plastics Council (APC) asked MBA Polymers to conduct a study to determine the technical and economic feasibility of recovering metals and plastics from end-of-life radiator end caps (RECs). The VRP worked with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) to obtain samples of RECs from two metal recycling companies, SimsMetal America and Aaron Metals. MBA performed its standard Recyclability Assessment on the materials, which included a detailed density and material characterization study and an actual processing study using its pilot processing line. It was found that the polyamide from RECs could be recovered in reasonably high yield and purity using tight density separations. The recycling of the REC samples used for this study generated about 40% nonferrous metal, 19% mixed ferrous and nonferrous metal and about 20% polyamide flakes.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Sternum Morphomics and Injury Data

Crash safety researchers have an increased concern regarding the decreased thoracic deflection and the contributing injury causation factors among the elderly population. Sternum fractures are categorized as moderate severity injuries, but can have long term effects depending on the fragility and frailty of the occupant. Current research has provided detail on rib morphology, but very little information on sternum morphology, sternum fracture locations, and mechanisms of injury. The objective of this study is two-fold (1) quantify sternum morphology and (2) document sternum fracture locations using computed tomography (CT) scans and crash data. Thoracic CT scans from the University of Michigan Hospital database were used to measure thoracic depth, manubriosternal joint, sternum thickness and bone density. The sternum fracture locations and descriptions were extracted from 63 International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM) crash cases, of which 22 cases had corresponding CT scans.
Technical Paper

Planetary Carrier Staking Groove Optimization

Simple planetary gears are widely used in automobile industry due to their compact design and high power density. A simple planetary gear set consists of a Sun gear, Ring gear, Planets and Carrier which houses planet gears. Mounting of planet pinions on carrier is through pins which is supported on needle roller bearings. A process called staking is used to assemble the pinion pins on to the carrier. Pinion pins have a staking region which after assembly expands outward into staking groove on the carrier to prevent axial movement of the pins. Design of the groove plays a vital role for the fixation of planet pins and robustness a carrier. Planetary carrier staking grooves are designed to meet pinion pin retention and strength targets.
Technical Paper

Overview - Painted Aluminum Wheels

This paper discusses the recent growth in aluminum wheel popularity and the problems associated with maintaining the wheel's appearance and corrosion protection. The various options in wheel coatings are then described as well as the adverse wheel environment. Finally, the variables affecting wheel corrosion resistance are explained and the testing that is undertaken to evaluate the performance characteristics of the wheel coating.
Technical Paper

Objective Characterization of Vehicle Brake Feel

Historically, vehicle brake feel has usually been evaluated in a subjective manner. If an objective measure was used, it was pedal force versus the deceleration rate of the vehicle. Stopping distance is almost always used to characterize vehicle braking performance by the automotive press. This represents limit braking performance, but ignores braking performance under normal driving conditions experienced by customers most of the time. Evaluation of pedal feel by the press is generally limited to subjective adjectives such as “mushy”, “positive”, and “responsive”. A method will be presented, which is being used by General Motors, to translate customer brake feel expectations into objective performance metrics. These metrics are correlated to actual subjective ratings and are used to set objective, measurable requirements for performance.
Technical Paper

GM's Evolving Epsilon Midsize Car Platform

This paper reviews the history of the General Motor's Epsilon Platform from a Body Structure perspective. From the time that it was conceived in 1996 to the present, the platform has evolved to meet many changing requirements. The focus of this paper will cover basic body requirements such as crash performance, modal requirements, packaging issues, changes for wheelbase and powertrains, mass, different body styles, etc, including the differences between European and US requirements. It will demonstrate that this globally developed platform met all its initial requirements and continued to evolve over time to meet additional changing requirements.
Technical Paper

Forming Limit Curves for the AA5083 Alloy under Quick Plastic Forming Conditions

Forming Limit Curves (FLCs) were developed for the 5083 aluminum alloy at conditions simulating high temperature processes such as superplastic and quick plastic forming. Sheet samples were formed at 450 °C and at a constant strain rate of 5x10-3 s-1, by free bulging into a set of elliptical die inserts with different aspect ratios. Friction-independent formability diagrams, which distinguish between the safe and unsafe deformation zones, were constructed. Although the formability diagrams were confined to the biaxial strain region (right side quadrant of an FLD), the elliptical die insert methodology provides formability maps under conditions where traditional mechanical stretching techniques are limited.
Technical Paper

Failure Evaluation of Clinched Thin Gauged Pedestrian Friendly Hood by Slam Simulation

In order to reduce the number of head injuries sustained by pedestrian accidents, safety engineers are developing pedestrian friendly hood systems through gauge optimization of the hood inner panel. In this study, the clinch method was employed to assemble a pedestrian friendly hood with a 0.5mm thick inner panel. Static and dynamic analyses were carried out to determine the clinch experiencing the highest loads and to understand the fatigue behavior of a clinched hood during a slam event. The macroscopic failure modes of clinched joints by hood slam were studied by means of a scanning electron microscope. A simple equation was derived to correlate the hexahedron spot weld model as a substitute for clinching in order to obtain an equivalent stiffness for a clinched joint within the linear region of an F-D curve. The F-D curve was obtained by lap shear testing.
Technical Paper

Development of Evaluation Methods for Steering Loss of Assist

Loss of power steering assist (LoA) is viewed as a potential hazard in certain vehicle operational scenarios. Despite the importance of this steering failure mode, few published test protocols for the objective or subjective evaluation of vehicle performance in a loss of assist situation exist. The first part of this paper examines five of the key steering failure modes that can result in LoA and discusses why LoA persists as a key industry challenge. The second part analyzes the situational dynamics affecting vehicle controllability during a LoA event and proposes a subjective evaluation driving course that facilitates evaluations in various LoA scenarios. A corresponding objective test procedure and metric is also proposed. These evaluation methods support consistent performance evaluation of physical vehicles while also enabling the prediction of vehicle characteristics early in the vehicle development process (VDP).
Technical Paper

Development of Breath-Alcohol-Detection System

The problem of high fatal accident rates due to drunk driving persists, and must be reduced. This paper reports on a prototype system mounted on a car mock-up and a prototype portable system that enables the checking of the drivers’ sobriety using a breath-alcohol sensor. The sensor unit consists of a water-vapor-sensor and three semiconductor gas sensors for ethanol, acetaldehyde, and hydrogen. One of the systems’ features is that they can detect water vapor from human-exhaled breath to prevent false detection with fake gases. Each gas concentration was calculated by applying an algorithm based on a differential evolution method. To quickly detect the water vapor in exhaled breath, we applied an AC voltage between the two electrodes of the breath-water-vapor sensor and used our alcohol-detection algorithm. The ethanol level was automatically calculated from the three gas sensors as soon as the water vapor was detected.