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Technical Paper

A Review of Spark-Assisted Compression Ignition (SACI) Research in the Context of Realizing Production Control Strategies

This paper seeks to identify key input parameters needed to achieve a production-viable control strategy for spark-assisted compression ignition (SACI) engines. SACI is a combustion strategy that uses a spark plug to initiate a deflagration flame that generates sufficient ignition energy to trigger autoignition in the remaining charge. The flame propagation phase limits the rate of cylinder pressure rise, while autoignition rapidly completes combustion. High dilution within the autoignited charge is generally required to maintain reaction rates feasible for production. However, this high dilution may not be reliably ignited by the spark plug. These competing constraints demand novel mixture preparation strategies for SACI to be feasible in production. SACI with charge stratification has demonstrated sufficiently stable flame propagation to reliably trigger autoignition across much of the engine operating map.
Technical Paper

Bonding Strength Modeling of Polyurethane to Vulcanized Rubber

Tires manufactured from polyurethane (PU) have been espoused recently for reduced hysteretic loss, but the material provides poor traction or poor wear resistance in the application, requiring inclusion of a traditional vulcanized rubber tread at the contact surface. The tread can be attached by adhesive methods after the PU body is cured, or the PU can be directly cured to reception sites on the rubber chain molecules unoccupied by crosslinked (vulcanizing) sulfur atoms. This paper provides a study of the two bonding options, both as-manufactured and after dynamic loading representative of tire performance in service. Models of each process are introduced, and an experimental comparison of the bonding strength between each method is made. Results are applied to tire fatigue simulation.
Journal Article

Characterization of Flow Drill Screwdriving Process Parameters on Joint Quality

A state of the art proprietary method for aluminum-to-aluminum joining in the automotive industry is Resistance Spot Welding. However, with spot welding (1) structural performance of the joint may be degraded through heat-affected zones created by the high temperature thermal joining process, (2) achieving the double-sided access necessary for the spot welding electrodes may limit design flexibility, and (3) variability with welds leads to production inconsistencies. Self-piercing rivets have been used before; however they require different rivet/die combinations depending on the material being joined, which adds to process complexity. In recent years the introductions of screw products that combine the technologies of friction drilling and thread forming have entered the market. These types of screw products do not have these access limitations as through-part connections are formed by one-sided access using a thermo-mechanical flow screwdriving process with minimal heat.
Technical Paper

Combined Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction and Digital Image Correlation Technique for Measurement of Austenite Transformation with Strain in TRIP-Assisted Steels

The strain-induced diffusionless shear transformation of retained austenite to martensite during straining of transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) assisted steels increases strain hardening and delays necking and fracture leading to exceptional ductility and strength, which are attractive for automotive applications. A novel technique that provides the retained austenite volume fraction variation with strain with improved precision is presented. Digital images of the gauge section of tensile specimens were first recorded up to selected plastic strains with a stereo digital image correlation (DIC) system. The austenite volume fraction was measured by synchrotron X-ray diffraction from small squares cut from the gage section. Strain fields in the squares were then computed by localizing the strain measurement to the corresponding region of a given square during DIC post-processing of the images recorded during tensile testing.
Technical Paper

Design of a Scaled Off-Vehicle Wheel Testing Device for Textile Tread Wear

This paper describes the development of test equipment for determining the wear viability of various lunar wheel tread materials with service lives of up to ten years and 10,000 km. The problem is defined, and concepts are proposed, evaluated, and selected. An abrasive turntable is chosen for simplicity and accuracy of modeling the original wheel configuration. Additionally, the limitations of the test are identified, such as the sensitivity to off-vertical loading, and future work is projected in order to more effectively continue testing. Finally, this paper presents the challenges of collaborative research effort between an undergraduate research team and industry, with government lab representatives as customers
Technical Paper

Development of Endurance Testing Apparatus Simulating Wheel Dynamics and Environment on Lunar Terrain

This paper entails the design and development of a NASA testing system used to simulate wheel operation in a lunar environment under different loading conditions. The test system was developed to test the design of advanced nonpneumatic wheels to be used on the NASA All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE). The ATHLETE, allowing for easy maneuverability around the lunar surface, provides the capability for many research and exploration opportunities on the lunar surface that were not previously possible. Each leg, having six degrees of freedom, allows the ATHLETE to accomplish many tasks not available on other extra-terrestrial exploration platforms. The robotic vehicle is expected to last longer than previous lunar rovers.
Journal Article

Effects of Material Properties on Static Load-Deflection and Vibration of a Non-Pneumatic Tire During High-Speed Rolling

The Michelin Tweel tire structure has recently been developed as an innovative non-pneumatic tire which has potential for improved handling, grip, comfort, low energy loss when impacting obstacles and reduced rolling resistance when compared to a traditional pneumatic tire. One of the potential sources of vibration during rolling of a non-pneumatic tire is the buckling phenomenon and snapping back of the spokes in tension when they enter and exit the contact zone. Another source of noise was hypothesized due to a flower petal ring vibration effect due to discrete spoke interaction with the ring and contact with the ground during rolling as the spokes cycle between tension and compression. Transmission of vibration between the ground force, ring and spokes to the hub was also considered to be a significant contributor to vibration and noise characteristics of the Tweel.
Technical Paper

Flexible Fabrics with High Thermal Conductivity for Advanced Spacesuits

This paper describes the effort and accomplishments for developing flexible fabrics with high thermal conductivity (FFHTC) for spacesuits to improve thermal performance, lower weight and reduce complexity. Commercial and additional space exploration applications that require substantial performance enhancements in removal and transport of heat away from equipment as well as from the human body can benefit from this technology. Improvements in thermal conductivity were achieved through the use of modified polymers containing thermally conductive additives. The objective of the FFHTC effort is to significantly improve the thermal conductivity of the liquid cooled ventilation garment by improving the thermal conductivity of the subcomponents (i.e., fabric and plastic tubes).
Journal Article

IIoT-Enabled Production System for Composite Intensive Vehicle Manufacturing

The advancements in automation, big data computing and high bandwidth networking has expedited the realization of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT has made inroads into many sectors including automotive, semiconductors, electronics, etc. Particularly, it has created numerous opportunities in the automotive manufacturing sector to realize the new aura of platform concepts such as smart material flow control. This paper provides a thought provoking application of IIoT in automotive composites body shop. By creating a digital twin for every physical part, we no longer need to adhere to the conventional manufacturing processes and layouts, thus opening up new opportunities in terms of equipment and space utilization. The century-old philosophy of the assembly line might not be the best layout for vehicle manufacturing, thus proposing a novel assembly grid layout inspired from a colony of ants working to accomplish a common goal.
Technical Paper

Strain Rate Effect on Martensitic Transformation in a TRIP Steel Containing Carbide-Free Bainite

Adiabatic heating during plastic straining can slow the diffusionless shear transformation of austenite to martensite in steels that exhibit transformation induced plasticity (TRIP). However, the extent to which the transformation is affected over a strain rate range of relevance to automotive stamping and vehicle impact events is unclear for most third-generation advanced high strength TRIP steels. In this study, an 1180MPa minimum tensile strength TRIP steel with carbide-free bainite is evaluated by measuring the variation of retained austenite volume fraction (RAVF) in fractured tensile specimens with position and strain. This requires a combination of servo-hydraulic load frame instrumented with high speed stereo digital image correlation for measurement of strains and ex-situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction for determination of RAVF in fractured tensile specimens.
Technical Paper

Wear Resistance of Lunar Wheel Treads Made of Polymeric Fabrics

The purpose of this research is to characterize the wear resistance of wheel treads made of polymeric woven and non-woven fabrics. Experimental research is used to characterize two wear mechanisms: (1) external wear due to large sliding between the tread and rocks, and (2) external wear due to small sliding between the tread and abrasive sand. Experimental setups include an abrasion tester and a small-scale merry-go-round where the tread is attached to a deformable rolling wheel. The wear resistance is characterized using various measures including, quantitatively, by the number of cycles to failure, and qualitatively, by micro-visual inspection of the fibers’ surface. This paper describes the issues related to each experiment and discusses the results obtained with different polymeric materials, fabric densities and sizes. The predominant wear mechanism is identified and should then be used as one of the criteria for further design of the tread.