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Technical Paper

Robotic Tooling Self-Calibration

Industrial robot calibration packages, such as ABB CalibWare, are merely developed only for robot calibration. As a result, the robotic tooling systems designed and fabricated by the user are often calibrated in an ad hoc fashion. In this paper, a systematic approach for robotic tooling calibration is presented in order to overcome this problem. The idea is to include the tooling system as an extended body in the robot kinematic model, from which two error models are established. The first model is associated with the robot, while the second model is associated with the tooling. Once the robot is fully calibrated, the first error will be eliminated. Thus, our method is focused on the second error model. For this calibration, a self-calibration method is developed by using a calibration plate with multiple holes. Then, the tooling calibration model is formulated against the distance between the two holes. For measurements of the distances, a camera is mounted on the tooling system.
Journal Article

Residual Stress Mapping along the Cylinder Bores of Al Alloy Engine Blocks Subjected to Production Solution Heat Treatment Schedule

The development of an optimized heat treatment schedule, with the aim of maximizing strength and relieving tensile residual stress, is important to prevent in-service cylinder distortion in Al alloy engine blocks containing cast-in gray iron liners. However, to effectively optimize the engine block heat treatment schedule, the current solutionizing parameters must be analyzed and compared to the as-cast condition to establish a baseline for residual stress relief. In this study, neutron diffraction was carried out to measure the residual stress along the aluminum cylinder bridge following solution heat treatment. The stresses were measured in the hoop, radial and axial orientations and compared to a previous measured as-cast (TSR) engine block. The results suggest that solution heat treatment using the current production parameters partially relieved tensile residual stress in the Al cylinder bridge, with stress relief being more effective near the bottom of the cylinder.
Journal Article

Finite Element Analysis of Friction-Assisted Powder Compaction Process

The major disadvantage of powder metallurgy (PM) is the density gradient throughout the green powder compacts. During the compaction process, due to the existence of friction at powder-tool interfaces, the contact surfaces experience a non-uniform stress distribution having to do with variable friction coefficient and tool kinematics, consequently resulting in density gradient throughout the powder compacts. This represents a serious problem in terms of the reliability and performance of a final product, as the density gradient may contribute to a crack-defect generation during the compaction cycle, and more importantly a non-uniform compact shrinkage during the sintering process. Simulation analyses were conducted using the finite element software, MSC.Marc Mentat, and Shima and Oyane powder constitutive model, to study and suppress the causes of density gradient in the cylindrically shaped green powder compacts.
Journal Article

Effect of Strain Level on the Behavior of Intermetallics and Texture of Al-Si-Cu-Mg Alloy Modified with Transition Metals

The uniaxial compression test was used to assess the influence of strain amount on the behavior of precipitates and texture of the Al-7%Si-1%Cu-0.5%Mg alloy, modified with micro-additions of V, Zr and Ti. As revealed through metallographic examinations, fracturing and re-orientation of the second-phase particles increased with increasing compression strain. However, the intermetallic particles experienced substantially more frequent cracking than the eutectic silicon. The crystallographic texture was measured and correlated with deformation behavior of the alloy. The weak texture of 11<211> and 111<110> components, detected after casting transformed to a mixture of 1<110>, 112<110> and 111<110> components after room-temperature compression deformation. The intensity of the texture components depended on the strain amount. It is concluded that the texture formation in the studied alloy is controlled by the precipitates formed during solidification of the alloy.
Journal Article

Analysis of Residual Stress Profiles in the Cylinder Web Region of an As-Cast V6 Al Engine Block with Cast-In Fe Liners Using Neutron Diffraction

Continuous efforts to develop a lightweight alloy suitable for the most demanding applications in automotive industry resulted in a number of advanced aluminum (Al) and magnesium alloys and manufacturing routes. One example of this is the application of 319 Al alloy for production of 3.6L V6 gasoline engine blocks. Aluminum is sand cast around Fe-liner cylinder inserts, prior to undergoing the T7 heat treatment process. One of the critical factors determining the quality of the final product is the type, level, and profile of residual stresses along the Fe liners (or extent of liner distortion) that are always present in a cast component. In this study, neutron diffraction was used to characterize residual stresses along the Al and the Fe liners in the web region of the cast engine block. The strains were measured both in Al and Fe in hoop, radial, and axial orientations. The stresses were subsequently determined using generalized Hooke's law.
Technical Paper

A Framework on Robotic Percussive Riveting for Aircraft Assembly Automation

Presented in this paper is a framework for the implementation of a robotic percussive riveting system, a new robot application for aircraft assembly. It is shown here that a successful robot application to the automation of a process requires in-depth research of the process and the interaction with the robot. For this purpose, a process planning-driven approach is proposed to guide a robot application research. A typical process planning will involve a list of key considerations including: process sequence, process parameters, process tooling, and process control. Through this list, a number of key research issues are identified for robotic percussive riveting, such as rivet pattern planning, riveting time determination, riveting tooling design and rivet insertion control. The detailed research on these issues has effectively created know-how for the successful implementation of our robotic percussive riveting system.