Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Johrendt, Jennifer

Keywords

Applied sciences, Aluminum, Closing effort, Door

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

When purchasing a product, and in particular when many different brands compete in the market, the first impression will consistently affect a customer's choice. When buying a car, the ease with which the doors close, the speed and the sound of the closure must give the customer the impression of a quality car. The recent stringent regulations on fuel economy and pollution have forced car makers to look for new solutions to lower the fuel consumption of the vehicles of their fleet and meet the standards imposed. The most obvioussolutions to reach the target are the improvement in the efficiency of engines and the reduction in vehicle weight. In the recent past, the use of aluminum (mainly in the form of alloy) in the automotive industry has increased due to its lower weight with respect to steel, even if the higher costs remain a big hindrance to the large-scale use of this metal. When dealing with door closing effort, the use of aluminum introduces some issues that relate directly to the lower weight of the door and possibly to other factors dependent on the different materials. The closing performance of the door is therefore expected to change, and the variations in the contributors to the closing effort need to be analyzed and discussed. In this work, the door closing performance of an aluminum door and of a steel door of a C segment vehicle are fully compared to study what changes, and to which extent, in the closing effort, due to the lighter alloy used. Two means are used, the physical testing of the doors in the body shop with the EZ Slam technology, and the simulation of the closing event with an existing closing effort predictive model. Particular focus is put on the contribution of the check system to the closing effort and how its final profile affects the closing event of the door.

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