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Technical Paper

Vehicle Cornering and Braking Behavior Simulation Using a Finite Element Method

This paper presents a vehicle dynamic simulation using a finite element method for performing more accurate simulations under extreme operating conditions with large tire deformation. A new hourglass control scheme implemented in an explicit finite element analysis code LS-DYNA(1) is used to stabilize tire deformation. The tires and suspension systems are fully modeled using finite elements and are connected to a rigid body that represents the whole vehicle body as well as the engine, drive train system and all other interior parts. This model is used to perform cornering and braking behavior simulations and the results are compared with experimental data. In the cornering behavior simulation, the calculated lateral acceleration and yaw rate at the vehicle's center of gravity agree well with the experimental results. Their nonlinear behavior is also well expressed.
Technical Paper

The Development of an Experimental Four-Wheel-Steering Vehicle

This paper describes the development of a vehicle with four-wheel steering in which the rear wheels can be controlled electronically in addition to the conventional front-wheel steering system. In the method for steering the rear wheels, the side-slip angle at the vehicle's center of gravity is maintained at zero, which improves the basic dynamic properties of the vehicle. This approach allows greater maneuverability at low speed by means of counter-phase rear steering and improved stability at high speed through same-phase rear steering. However, the use of counter-phase rear steering to improve maneuverability gives rise to problems in regard to practicality. In addition, continuously controlled four-wheel steering, using counter-phase at low speed and same-phase at high speed, leads to many other problems regarding practicality because of the strong apparent understeer characteristics.
Technical Paper

The Development of Second Generation Ceramic Turbocharger Rotor - Further Improvements in Reliability

Nissan has developed a second generation ceramic turbocharger rotor which provides greater reliability and higher performance than a conventional ceramic rotor. The new rotor is made of silicon nitride, which has demonstrated sufficient strength in vehicle applications. The bonding technique for joining the ceramic rotor to the metal shaft has been confirmed through experimentation to have sufficient reliability. The second generation rotor is featured by the low stress design and higher dynamic strength, and two factors contribute to its higher reliability. The rotor shape was optimized on the basis of results obtained in two analyses of particle impact resistance and applied combined stress. Test results show that the reliability of the second generation rotor have been substantially improved over those of the conventional rotor now being used on production vehicles.
Technical Paper

Technology for distinctive handling performance of the newly developed Electric Vehicle

Electric Vehicle distinctive techniques in order to enhance the vehicle dynamic performance have been studied and applied to Nissan LEAF. From the viewpoint of performance design parameters, this paper introduces the application items focusing on effectuality for the vehicle behavior by means of the yawing motion and the rolling motion control of its vehicle. As the result, the effects of vehicle performance are shown in experimental data.
Technical Paper

Study on Miniaturization of an Air-Cooled Inverter Integrated with Motor

This paper reports about a trial for miniaturization of an air-cooled inverter integrated with motor, which is realized by reduction of the total volume of smoothing capacitor. An integrated system prototype was constructed with a disk-shaped inverter positioned at the rear end of the motor. We examined the possibility of using a ceramic capacitor, which features a higher heat-resistance temperature, lower internal resistance and higher capacity density than a film capacitor. At the same level of capacitance, the volume of a ceramic capacitor is less than one-half that of a film capacitor, enabling the size of the smoothing capacitor to be reduced to approximately one-fifth that of the currently used device. A suitable circuit configuration and physical layout of distributed smoothing capacitors and corresponding power device modules are proposed and demonstrated.
Journal Article

Silicon Carbide Inverter for EV/HEV Application featuring a Low Thermal Resistance Module and a Noise Reduction Structure

This paper presents the technologies incorporated in an electric vehicle (EV)/hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) inverter built with power semiconductors of silicon carbide (SiC) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) instead of conventional silicon (Si) insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). A SiC inverter prototype of 2.9 L in size for driving an 80-kW motor was fabricated and evaluated on a motor test bench. The SiC inverter prototype attained average efficiency of 98.5% in the Worldwide harmonized Light-duty Test Cycle (WLTC) driving mode. The two main technologies achieved with this SiC inverter prototype are described. The first one is a new direct-cooled power module with a thick copper (Cu) heat spreader located under the semiconductors that improves thermal resistance by 34% compared with a conventional direct-cooled power module.
Journal Article

New Hybrid Genetic Algorithm for Pitch Sequence Optimization of CVT Variator Chain

A CVT variator chain system is superior in transmission efficiency to a belt system because of its lower internal friction. However, a chain produces more noise than a belt due to the long pitch length of contact between the pulleys and rocker pins. This study focuses on optimization of the pitch sequence for reducing chain noise. The previous pitch sequence was suitably combined of links of different lengths to improve noise dispersibility for reducing chain noise. First, the object function was defined as the reduction of the peak level of 1st-order chain noise combined with a well-balanced the levels on the low and high frequency sides. Interior background noise consisting of road noise and wind noise have the characteristic that they increase as the frequency decreases.
Technical Paper

Independent Control of Steering Force and Wheel Angles to Improve Straight Line Stability

This paper describes a control method to improve straight-line stability without sacrificing natural steering feel, utilizing a newly developed steering system controlling the steering force and the wheel angle independently. It cancels drifting by a road cant and suppresses the yaw angle induced by road surface irregularities or a side wind. Therefore drivers can keep the car straight with such a little steering input adjustment, thus reducing the driver's workload greatly. In this control method, a camera mounted behind the windshield recognizes the forward lane and calculate the discrepancy between the vehicle direction and the driving lane. This method has been applied to the test car, and the reduction of the driver's workload was confirmed. This paper presents an outline of the method and describes its advantages.
Technical Paper

Improvement of the High Rigidity Power-Roller Support Structure in a Half-Toroidal CVT

This paper describes the improvement made to the high rigidity power-roller support structure in a dual-cavity half-toroidal CVT to further increase torque capacity. As a result of re-analyzing the function and parts composition of the previous structure, a high rigidity power-roller support structure, which permits power roller movement only in the horizontal direction, has been adopted. This structure enables the thrust and radial stiffness of the power-roller support to be substantially improved over the previous structure.
Technical Paper

Improvement of Vehicle Dynamics Through Braking Force Distribution Control

The influence on vehicle dynamics of braking force distribution to four wheels has been analyzed by computer simulation and experimentation. The analytical results indicate that a suitable braking force distribution control method can improve handling and stability during braking. A new braking force distribution cintrol strategy,using a steering wheel angle feedforward function and a yaw velocity feedback function,is shown to improve vehicle dynamic behavior.
Technical Paper

Improvement of Practical Electric Consumption by Drag Reducing under Cross Wind

Reducing vehicle fuel consumption has become one of the most important issues in recent years in connection with environmental concerns such as global warming. Therefore, in the vehicle development process, attention has been focused on reducing aerodynamic drag as a way of improving fuel economy. When considering environmental issues, the development of vehicle aerodynamics must take into account real-world driving conditions. A crosswind is one of the representative conditions. It is well known that drag changes in a crosswind compared with a condition without a crosswind, and that the change depends on the vehicle shape. It is generally considered that the influence of a crosswind is relatively small since drag accounts for a small proportion of the total running resistance. However, for electric vehicles, the energy loss of the drive train is smaller than that of an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.
Technical Paper

Improvement in Pitting Resistance of Transmission Gears by Plasma Carburizing Process

The application of both high strength gear steels and shot peening technology has succeeded in strengthening automotive transmission gears. This technology, though, improves mainly the fatigue strength at the tooth root, but not the pitting property at the tooth face. Therefore, demand has moved to the development of new gear steels with good pitting resistance. In order to improve pitting resistance, the authors studied super carburizing which is characterized by carbide dispersion in the case, especially processed with a plasma carburizing furnace. Firstly, the influence of the carburizing temperature and carburizing period on the carbide morphology was investigated and the optimum carburizing conditions were determined. Secondly, the fatigue strength and pitting resistance was evaluated using carbide dispersed specimens.
Technical Paper

High Performance Differential Gear

Excellent fuel economy and high performance have been urgent in Japanese automobile industries. With increasing engine power, many of the power train components have to withstand higher loads. Differential pinion gear being one of those highly stressed parts, excellent fatigue and shock resistance have been demanded. At first the fundamental study on the fatigue and impact crack behavior of carburized components was studied and the new grade composed of 0.18%C-0.7%Mn-1.0%Cr-0.4%Mo was alloy designed. Furthermore, Si and P is reduced less than 0.15 and 0.015%, respectively aiming at the reduction of intergranular oxidation and improved case toughness. The differential gear assembly test has proved that the new grade shows three times as high impact strength as that of conventional steel, SCM418, and almost the same as that of SNCM420 containing 1.8%Ni.
Technical Paper

HBMC (Hydraulic Body Motion Control System) for Production Vehicle Application

In order to satisfy increasing customer demands on ride quality as well as expectations for off-road performance of sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), it is necessary to develop technologies which offer enhanced levels of both performances. For ride quality, it is important to minimize body roll angle during cornering, which is achieved by suppressing suspension travel, and also to reduce vertical motion during straight-ahead travel. While for off-road performance, it is necessary to allow a long suspension stroke to allow a high level of off-road traction by delivering driving force reliably to the surface. These two performance parameters require a tradeoff with respect to vehicle roll stiffness. To reconcile these conflicting performance requirements, for first time in the world we adopted for production vehicles the system which connects the four shock absorbers together.
Technical Paper

Factoring Nonlinear Kinematics into New Suspension Design: A CAE Approach to Vehicle Roll Dynamics

Over the past several decades, vehicle dynamics have been treated mainly on the basis of linear theories. An actual vehicle, however, also shows nonlinear properties such as roll behavior induced by movement of the roll axis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the vehicle roll dynamics in the nonlinear range. Suspensions were divided into two categories and computer-aided engineering (CAE) was used to conduct analyses of complicated kinematics. The results obtained provided theoretical support for designing the Multi-Link Beam Rear Suspension, a new type of suspension for front-wheel-drive cars.
Technical Paper

Evaluation and Improvement of Vehicle Roll Behavior

Vehicle roll behavior has a large influence on how drivers evaluate handling performance. This paper describes an approach to quantifying roll behavior experimentally and presents a method for designing suspension properties to improve the sensation of roll. In this study, it was found that using pitch motion as an evaluation index results in good correspondence with subjective evaluations. To obtain acceptable roll behavior, it is important to control pitch motion during roll to a lower mode at the front end relative to the rear. This desirable behavior can be achieved by designing suitable roll center characteristics, nonlinear load changes and damping force coefficients.
Technical Paper

Engine Application of a Battery Voltage-Driven DI Fuel Injection System

Every fuel injection system for DI gasoline engines has a DC-DC converter to provide high, stabile voltage for opening the injector valve more quickly. A current control circuit for holding the valve open is also needed, as well as a large-capacity capacitor for pilot injection. Since these components occupy considerable space, an injector drive unit separate from the ECU must be used. Thus, there has been a need for a fuel injection system that can inject a small volume of fuel without requiring high voltage. To meet that need, we have developed a dual coil injector and an opening coil current control system. An investigation was also made of all the factors related to the dynamic range of the injector, including static flow rate, fuel pressure, battery voltage and harness resistance. Both efforts have led to the adoption of a battery voltage-driven fuel injector.
Technical Paper

Development of the N-Type Runflat Tire and Its Evaluation in Vehicle Dynamics

Judging from viewpoint of automotive safety and more space by eliminating a spare tire, the development of the run-flat tires is important. Many problems relating to weight increase and usability had to be solved in the course of the development of such tires. The “ N ” type run-flat tire, described in this paper, has a simple structure with reinforced side walls and additional beads to fit the rim flanges. Though this tire system brought about a small amount of weight increase, it needs no special part, therefore the conventional road wheels, air valves and tire changers may be used. We have tested and evaluated this tire system equipped with passenger cars as well as on the test machines. Especially vehicle dynamics such as steering, stability and so forth were tested. The test results indicated that this tire system is practical enough.
Technical Paper

Development of the Full Active Suspension by Nissan

Nissan has developed a hydraulic active suspension which uses an oil pump as its power source to produce hydraulic pressure that negates external forces acting on the vehicle. As a result, the suspension system is able to control vehicle movement freely and continuously. This control capability makes it possible to provide higher levels of ride comfort and vehicle dynamics than are obtainable with conventional suspension systems. The major features of the hydraulic system include: (1) active bouncing control using a skyhook damper, (2) a frequency-sensitive damping mechanism and (3) active control over roll, dive and squat.
Technical Paper

Development of the Aerodynamics of the New Nissan Murano

The new Murano was developed with special emphasis on improving aerodynamics in order to achieve fuel economy superior to that of competitor models. This paper describes the measures developed to attain a drag coefficient (CD) that is overwhelmingly lower than that of other similar models. Special attention was paid to optimizing the rear end shape so as to minimize rear end drag, which contributes markedly to the CD of sport utility vehicles (SUVs). A lower grille shutter was adopted from the early stage of the development process. When open, the shutter allows sufficient inward airflow to ensure satisfactory engine cooling; when closed, the blocked airflow is actively directed upward over the body. The final rear end shape was tuned so as to obtain the maximum aerodynamic benefit from this airflow. In addition, a large front spoiler was adopted to suppress airflow toward the underbody as much as possible.