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Technical Paper

Variation Aware Assembly Systems for Aircraft Wings

2016-09-27
2016-01-2106
Aircraft manufacturers desire to increase production to keep up with anticipated demand. To achieve this, the aerospace industry requires a significant increase in the manufacturing and assembly performance to reach required output levels. This work therefore introduces the Variation Aware Assembly (VAA) concept and identifies its suitability for implementation into aircraft wing assembly processes. The VAA system concept focuses on achieving assemblies towards the nominal dimensions, as opposed to traditional tooling methods that aim to achieve assemblies anywhere within the tolerance band. It enables control of the variation found in Key Characteristics (KC) that will allow for an increase in the assembly quality and product performance. The concept consists of utilizing metrology data from sources both before and during the assembly process, to precisely position parts using motion controllers.
Technical Paper

Towards Self-Adaptive Fixturing Systems for Aircraft Wing Assembly

2015-09-15
2015-01-2493
The aim of this work was to develop a new assembly process in conjunction with an adaptive fixturing system to improve the assembly process capability of specific aircraft wing assembly processes. The inherently complex aerospace industry requires a step change in its capability to achieve the production ramp up required to meet the global demand. This paper evaluates the capability of adaptive fixtures to identify their suitability for implementation into aircraft wing manufacturing and assembly. To understand the potential benefits of these fixtures, an examination of the current academic practices and an evaluation of the existing industrial solutions is highlighted. The proposed adaptive assembly process was developed to account for the manufacturing induced dimensional variation that causes significant issues in aircraft wing assembly. To test the effectiveness of the adaptive assembly process, an aircraft wing assembly operation was replicated on a demonstrator test rig.
Technical Paper

The Use of Vehicle Drive Cycles to Assess Spark Plug Fouling Performance

1994-02-01
940101
Spark plug fouling is a common problem when vehicles are repeatedly operated for very short periods, particularly at low temperatures. This paper describes a test procedure which uses a series of short, high-load drive cycles to assess plug fouling under realistic conditions. The engine is force cooled between drive cycles in order to increase test throughput. Spark plug resistance is shown to be a poor indicator of the effect of fouling on engine performance and the rate of misfiring is given as an alternative measure. An automated technique to detect misfires from engine speed data is described. This has been used to investigate the effect of spark plug type, fuelling level and spark timing on fouling. Spark plugs which are designed to run hotter are found to be more resistant to plug fouling. Isolated adjustments to fuelling level and spark timing calibrations within the range providing acceptable performance have a weak effect on susceptibility to plug fouling.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Compression Ratio on Indicated Emissions and Fuel Economy Responses to Input Variables for a D.I Diesel Engine Combustion System

2012-04-16
2012-01-0697
The effect of compression ratio on sensitivity to changes in start of injection and air-fuel ratio has been investigated on a single-cylinder DI diesel engine at fixed low and medium speeds and loads. Compression ratio was set to 17.9:1 or 13.7:1 by using pistons with different bowl sizes. Injection timing and air-to-fuel ratio were swept around a nominal map point at which gross IMEP and NOx values were matched for the two compression ratios. It was found that CO, HC and ISFC were higher at low compression ratio, but the soot/NOx trade-off improved and this could be exploited to reduce the fuel economy penalty. Sensitivity to inputs is generally similar, but high compression ratio tended to have steeper response gradients. Reducing compression ratio to 13.7 gave rise to a marked degradation of performance at light load, producing high CO emissions and a fall in combustion efficiency. This could be eased by reducing rail pressure, but the advantage in smoke emission was lost.
Journal Article

The Effect of Reducing Compression Ratio on the Work Output and Heat Release Characteristics of a DI Diesel under Cold Start Conditions

2008-04-14
2008-01-1306
An experimental investigation has been carried out to compare the indicated performance and heat release characteristics of a DI diesel engine at compression ratios of 18.4:1 and 15.4:1. The compression ratio was changed by modifying the piston bowl volume; the bore and stroke were unchanged, and the swept volume was nominally 500cc. The engine is a single cylinder variant of modern design which meets Euro 4 emissions requirements. Work output and heat release characteristics for the two compression ratios have been compared at an engine speed of 300 rev/min and test temperatures of 10, -10 and -20°C. A more limited comparison has also been made for higher speeds representative of cold idle at one test temperature (-20°C). The reduction in compression ratio generally produces an increase in peak specific indicated work output at low speeds; this is attributable to a reduction in blowby and heat transfer losses and lower peak rates of heat release increasing cumulative burn.
Journal Article

The Effect of Piston Cooling Jets on Diesel Engine Piston Temperatures, Emissions and Fuel Consumption

2012-04-16
2012-01-1212
A Ford 2.4-liter 115PS light-duty diesel engine was modified to allow solenoid control of the oil feed to the piston cooling jets, enabling these to be switched on or off on demand. The influence of the jets on piston temperatures, engine thermal state, gaseous emissions and fuel economy has been investigated. With the jets switched off, piston temperatures were measured to be between 23 and 88°C higher. Across a range of speed-load points, switching off the jets increased engine-out emissions of NOx typically by 3%, and reduced emissions of CO by 5-10%. Changes in HC were of the same order and were reductions at most conditions. Fuel consumption increased at low-speed, high-load conditions and decreased at high-speed, low-load conditions. Applying the results to the NEDC drive cycle suggests active on/off control of the jets could reduce engine-out emissions of CO by 6%, at the expense of a 1% increase in NOx, compared to the case when the jets are on continuously.
Journal Article

The Application of New Approaches to the Analysis of Deposits from the Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Tester (JFTOT)

2017-10-08
2017-01-2293
Studies of diesel system deposits continue to be the subject of interest and publications worldwide. The introduction of high pressure common rail systems resulting in high fuel temperatures in the system with the concomitant use of fuels of varying solubilizing ability (e.g. ULSD and FAME blends) have seen deposits formed at the tip of the injector and on various internal injector components. Though deposit control additives (DCAs) have been successfully deployed to mitigate the deposit formation, work is still required to understand the nature and composition of these deposits. The study of both tip and internal diesel injector deposits (IDID) has seen the development of a number of bench techniques in an attempt to mimic field injector deposits in the laboratory. One of the most used of these is the Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Tester or JFTOT (ASTM D3241).
Journal Article

Structural Quality Inspection Based on a RGB-D Sensor: Supporting Manual-to-Automated Assembly Operations

2015-09-15
2015-01-2499
The assembly and manufacture of aerospace structures, in particular legacy products, relies in many cases on the skill, or rather the craftsmanship, of a human operator. Compounded by low volume rates, the implementation of a fully automated production facility may not be cost effective. A more efficient solution may be a mixture of both manual and automated operations but herein lies an issue of human error when stepping through the build from a manual operation to an automated one. Hence the requirement for an advanced automated assembly system to contain functionality for inline structural quality checking. Machine vision, used most extensively in manufacturing, is an obvious choice, but existing solutions tend to be application specific with a closed software development architecture.
Technical Paper

Soot in the Lubricating Oil: An Overlooked Concern for the Gasoline Direct Injection Engine?

2019-04-02
2019-01-0301
Formation of soot is a known phenomenon for diesel engines, however, only recently emerged for gasoline engines with the introduction of direct injection systems. Soot-in-oil samples from a three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine have been analysed. The samples were collected from the oil sump after periods of use in predominantly urban driving conditions with start-stop mode activated. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was performed to measure the soot content in the drained oils. Soot deposition rates were similar to previously reported rates for diesel engines, i.e. 1 wt% per 15,000 km, thus indicating a similar importance. Morphology was assessed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Images showed fractal agglomerates comprising multiple primary particles with characteristic core-shell nanostructure. Furthermore, large amorphous structures were observed. Primary particle sizes ranged from 12 to 55 nm, with a mean diameter of 30 nm and mode at 31 nm.
Technical Paper

Reducing Energy Losses from Automotive Engine Lubricants by Thermal Isolation of the Engine Mass

2014-04-01
2014-01-0672
The thermal efficiency of an internal combustion engine at steady state temperatures is typically in the region of 25-35%[1]. In a cold start situation, this reduces to be between 10% and 20% [2]. A significant contributor to the reduced efficiency is poor performance by the engine lubricant. Sub optimal viscosity resulting from cold temperatures leads to poor lubrication and a subsequent increase in friction and fuel consumption. Typically, the engine lubricant takes approximately twenty minutes [3] to reach steady state temperatures. Therefore, if the lubricant can reach its steady state operating temperature sooner, the engine's thermal efficiency will be improved. It is hypothesised that, by decoupling the lubricant from the thermal mass of the surrounding engine architecture, it is possible to reduce the thermal energy loss from the lubricant to the surrounding metal structure in the initial stages of warm-up.
Technical Paper

Predicted Paths of Soot Particles in the Cylinders of a Direct Injection Diesel Engine

2012-04-16
2012-01-0148
Soot formation and distribution inside the cylinder of a light-duty direct injection diesel engine, have been predicted using Kiva-3v CFD software. Pathlines of soot particles traced from specific in-cylinder locations and crank angle instants have been explored using the results for cylinder charge motion predicted by the Kiva-3v code. Pathlines are determined assuming soot particles are massless and follow charge motion. Coagulation and agglomeration have not been taken into account. High rates of soot formation dominate during and just after the injection. Oxidation becomes dominant after the injection has terminated and throughout the power stroke. Computed soot pathlines show that soot particles formed just below the fuel spray axis during the early injection period are more likely to travel to the cylinder wall boundary layer. Soot particles above the fuel spray have lesser tendency to be conveyed to the cylinder wall.
Technical Paper

Morphological Characterization of Gasoline Soot-in-Oil: Development of Semi-Automated 2D-TEM and Comparison with Novel High-Throughput 3D-TEM

2019-09-09
2019-24-0042
Characterization of soot nanoparticle morphology can be used to develop understanding of nanoparticle interaction with engine lubricant oil and its additives. It can be used to help direct modelling of soot-induced thickening, and in a more general sense for combatting reductions in engine efficiency that occur with soot-laden oils. Traditional 2D transmission electron microscopy (TEM) characterization possesses several important shortcomings related to accuracy that have prompted development of an alternative 3D characterization technique utilizing electron tomography, known as 3D-TEM. This work details progress made towards facilitating semi-automated image acquisition and processing for location of structures of interest on the TEM grid. Samples were taken from a four cylinder 1.4 L gasoline turbocharged direct injection (GTDI) engine operated in typically extra-urban driving conditions for 20,284 km, with automatic cylinder deactivation enabled.
Technical Paper

Morphological Characterisation of Diesel Soot in Oil and the Associated Extraction Dependence

2018-04-03
2018-01-0935
The size and morphology of soot particles and agglomerates extracted from lubricating oil drawn from the sump of a diesel engine have been investigated and compared using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA). Samples were prepared for electron microscopy imaging by both centrifugation and solvent extraction to investigate the impact of these procedures on the morphological characteristics, such as skeleton length and width and circularity, of the obtained soot. It was shown that centrifugation increases the extent of agglomeration within the sample, with 15% of the agglomerates above 200 nm compared to only 11% in the solvent extracted soot. It was also observed that the width of centrifugation extracted soot was typically 10 nm to 20 nm larger than that of solvent extracted soot, suggesting that centrifugation forces the individual agglomerate chains together.
Journal Article

Investigations of Piston Ring Pack and Skirt Contributions to Motored Engine Friction

2008-04-14
2008-01-1046
An experimental study has been carried out to examine the influence of ring tan load and piston skirt modifications on piston assembly friction under motored engine conditions for initial temperatures of -20, 0 and 30°C and motoring speeds within the range 400 to 2000 rev/min. The study has been carried out using the block, crankshaft and pistons of a 2.4I, 4 cylinder diesel engine with a bore and stroke of 89.9mm and 94.6mm respectively. The pistons examined are typical of current designs for light duty diesels. A range of ring pack and piston skirt modifications have been tested, in each case as part of a complete piston assembly. The first changes produced reductions in fmep of between 5% and 38%. The reduction was due to improved skirt and ring pack designs in equal measure, each giving improvements of up to 20%. From this baseline eliminating the tan load of the piston rings was projected to give a further reduction in fmep of between 10% and 20%.
Technical Paper

Fuel Transport to the Crankcase, Oil Dilution and HC Return with Breather Flow During the Cold Operation of a SI Engine

2000-03-06
2000-01-1235
Fuel losses to the crankcase, fuel/oil interactions, and fuel return as unburned hydrocarbons in the breather flow have been investigated. Hydrocarbons in the breather flow have been measured during motored and firing engine operation over a range of temperatures. Fuel desorption from the sump oil accounts for a small proportion of this. The major source is hydrocarbons transported past the piston with blowby. After a cold start, around 85% of these are retained in oil films below the ring pack. The recirculation of oil from the films to the sump contributes to bulk oil dilution. This appears to be the prime mechanism by which fuel is lost to oil dilution during cold operation. The mechanism becomes less effective as engine warm-up progresses. At fully-warm oil temperatures (∼100°C), only about 5% are removed from the blowby.
Technical Paper

Fixturing and Tooling for Wing Assembly with Reconfigurable Datum System Pickup

2011-10-18
2011-01-2556
The aerospace manufacturing sector is continuously seeking automation due to increased demand for the next generation single-isle aircraft. In order to reduce weight and fuel consumption aircraft manufacturers have increasingly started to use more composites as part of the structure. The manufacture and assembly of composites poses different constraints and challenges compared to the more traditional aircraft build consisting of metal components. In order to overcome these problems and to achieve the desired production rate existing manufacturing technologies have to be improved. New technologies and build concepts have to be developed in order to achieve the rate and ramp up of production and cost saving. This paper investigates how to achieve the rib hole key characteristic (KC) in a composite wing box assembly process. When the rib hole KC is out of tolerances, possibly, the KC can be achieved by imposing it by means of adjustable tooling and fixturing elements.
Journal Article

Emerging Technologies for Use in Aerospace Bonded Assemblies

2013-09-17
2013-01-2134
Several new technologies are now emerging to improve adhesive supply and formulation along with surface treatments that have the potential to offer significant improvements to both surface energy and cleanliness [3]. Additionally, the miniaturisation of laboratory techniques into portable equipment offers potential for online surface energy and chemical analysis measurement for use as quality control measures in a production environment. An overview of newly available technology is given here with several devices studied in further detail. Technologies assessed further in this paper are; portable surface contact angle measurement, ambient pressure plasma cleaning, portable FTIR measurement and adhesive mixing equipment. A number of potential applications are outlined for each device based on the operational technique. The practical aspects of implementation and the perceived technology readiness levels for operation, implementation and results are also given.
Journal Article

Discrete Flow Mapping - A Mesh Based Simulation Tool for Mid-to-High Frequency Vibro-Acoustic Excitation of Complex Automotive Structures

2014-06-30
2014-01-2079
Modelling the vibro-acoustic properties of mechanical built-up structures is a challenging task, especially in the mid to high frequency regime, even with the computational resources available today. Standard modelling tools for complex vehicle parts include finite and boundary element methods (FEM and BEM), as well as Multi-Body Simulations (MBS). These methods are, however, robust only in the low frequency regime. In particular, FEM is not scalable to higher frequencies due to the prohibitive increase in model size. We have recently developed a new method called Discrete Flow Mapping (DFM), which extends existing high frequency methods, such as Statistical Energy Analysis or the so-called Dynamical Energy Analysis (DEA), to work on meshed structures. It provides for the first time detailed spatial information about the vibrational energy of a whole built-up structure of arbitrary complexity in this frequency range.
Technical Paper

Diesel Injector Deposits - An Issue That Has Evolved with Engine Technology

2011-08-30
2011-01-1923
Diesel engines have traditionally been favoured in heavy-duty applications for their fuel economy, robustness, reliability and relative lack of fuel sensitivity. Recently it has seen a growth in its popularity in light duty applications due particularly to its fuel efficiency. However, as the engine technology and particularly the fuel injection equipment has evolved to meet ever stricter emissions legislation the engines have become more sensitive to deposit formation resulting from changes in fuel quality. This paper reviews bouts of concern over diesel fuel injector deposits, possible causes for the phenomenon and test methods designed to screen fuels to eliminate problems.
Technical Paper

Cyclically Resolved Flame and Flow Imaging in an SI Engine Operating with Future Ethanol Fuels

2017-03-28
2017-01-0655
This work was concerned with study of the in-cylinder flow field and flame development in a spark ignition research engine equipped with Bowditch piston optical access. High-speed natural light (chemiluminescence) imaging and simultaneous in-cylinder pressure data measurement and analysis were used to understand the fundamentals of flame propagation for a variety of ethanol fuels blended with either gasoline or iso-octane. PIV was undertaken on the same engine in a motoring operation at a horizontal imaging plane close to TDC (10 mm below the fire face) throughout the compression stroke (30°,40°,90° and 180°bTDC) for a low load engine operating condition at 1500rpm/0.5 bar inlet plenum pressure. Up to 1500 cycles were considered to determine the ensemble average flow-field and turbulent kinetic energy. Finally, comparisons were made between the flame and flow experiments to understand the apparent interactions.
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