Automotive Research Association of India
Research Institute of the Automotive Industry with the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Govt. of India
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Material Characterization
Objective
Generate Data Bank on Chemical, Mechanical, Physical & Dynamic Properties of Automotive Grade Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) & Aluminum Alloys.

Significance
  Increased environmental concerns are driving the auto industry to continual weight reduction of vehicles.
  Advanced high strength steels (AHSS) enable weight reduction due to their higher strength and energy absorbing capacity.
  Increased strain rates change the mechanical behavior of a material. It is important to study the high strain rate properties of the materials to achieve optimum design, further weight reduction and safer vehicles
Micrograph of HSLA 350 showing ferrite (white) and carbides (dark) 200X Micrograph of a dual phase steel quenched from 800°C. White phase is ferrite and dark phase is a mixture of martensite and small amount of retained austenite Stress strain relation for DQSK Mild Steel

Methodology
  Evaluate various mechanical, physical and dynamic properties of Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and Al alloys emerging for crashworthiness applications.
  Correlate the properties of the materials with their microstructure, chemical composition, residual stresses and texture.
  Various properties evaluated include
  Tensile strength, yield strength, modulus of elasticity
  High strain rate properties (energy absorption, true stress - true strain curves, strain rate exponent)
  Fatigue properties (S-N Curve without stress concentration and with the Stress Concentration Factor of 2.5 & 4. Also E-N curves)
  Microstructure and phase distribution
  Texture analysis
  Residual stresses

Materials Covered Include
  Dual Phase (DP) steels
  Bake Hardened (BH) steels
  Interstitial Free (IF) steels
  HSLA
  Martensitic steels
  Al-alloys emerging for body applications

New Facilities Established Include
  PANalytical X’Pert PRO X-ray Diffractometer (Phase Identification and quantification, Retained Austenite, Texture, Residual Stresses)
  Instron High Strain Rate Testing machine (65kN Capacity, max velocity 20m/s)

Applications
Material Compatibility
A study project on evaluation the effect of 10% ethanol blended gasoline (E10) fuel versus commercial gasoline (E0) on polymeric materials (Elastomers and Plastics) used in automotive components was undertaken by ARAI. Common elastomers and plastics used in automotive components were tested as per the guidelines given in the SAE J 1748 for non-metal compatibility study.

Objective
To evaluate the effect of 10% ethanol blended gasoline (E-10) on the properties of various automotive materials (including four elastomers and three plastics) in comparison with the effect of pure gasoline.

Significance
  Increasing costs of petroleum fuels and environmental concerns are driving the auto industry to look for cleaner, less expensive and easily available alternative to gasoline.
  Ethanol blended fuels are fast emerging as alternative to pure gasoline because of the reproducibility of ethanol and other cost benefits.
  Compatibility with gasoline of various auto materials that come in contact with the fuels is well established.
  It is required to evaluate the compatibility of these currently used materials with the new ethanol blended fuel.

Methodology
  The study was carried out as per the guidelines given by Society of Automotive Engineers standard SAE J 1748.
  A set of the specimens was immersed in gasoline and another in E-10 both kept at a constant temperature of 55°C for 18 weeks.
  Change in material properties like Volume/swell, Weight, Appearance, Tensile strength, Elongation,  Impact resistance and Hardness Shore A were measured after immersion of materials in a fuel in a periodic manner to evaluate the impact of E10 fuel on materials relative  to the Gasoline. Typical results are shown below.
   
 

Applications
  The material compatibility study with alternate fuels helps in assessing the compatibility of the materials tested with alternate fuels with respect to the useful life of vehicles.
  The database of properties generated in this project is useful for selection of materials compatible with E-10 fuel.
Vehicle Rear Under-Run Protection Devices (RUPD)

In collaboration with Dow Chemicals India Pvt. Ltd.
Development of Vehicle Rear Under-run Protection Devices (RUPD) using Alternate Energy Absorbing Materials.

Objective
  To develop under-run protection devices (UPDs) in line with current as well as upcoming regulations
  To develop materials technology enabled solutions providing following benefits
 
  Low cost   Ease of repair
  Light weight   Multiple use
  Higher energy absorption    

Significance
  Over 100,000 people die in India in road accidents
  Rate of fatalities is particularly high in case of vehicle under-run
  Such an under-run can also cause damage to the heavy vehicle
  Under run protection devices such as Rear under Run Protection Device (RUPD) and Lateral under Run Protection Device (LPD) are mandatory on heavy vehicles as per IS 14812 and IS 14682 respectively. Regulation for Front Under-run Protection Device (FUPD) is also in pipeline.
  Some of the problems with the current technology include
  Lack of universal design
  Repairability
  Reusability
  Cost-effectiveness
  Retrofitting not possible
  No energy absorption
In an under-run accident, truck-bed can penetrate up to the driver compartment causing serious or fatal injuries to the car-passengers Vehicle with RUPD Vehicle with LPD

Methodology
  To design the under-run devices with the use of different energy absorbing materials.
  To validate the design and materials by computer aided engineering.
  To make prototype of the under run devices.
  To test the devices for its performance, energy absorbing capacity, and ease of reparability.
 
    RUPD test being
conducted by ARAI

Applications
  The energy absorbing UPD’s would help in minimizing the fatalities occurring due to vehicle under-run and hence would increase the road safety.
  The UPDs would also help in avoiding the damage to the heavy vehicles due to such an under-run accident.

Chemical Characterization of Particulate Matter
Objective
Chemical Characterization of Particulate Matter (PM) from vehicle exhaust for various species including carbon fractions, cations, anions, elements and organic molecular markers.

Significance
  Knowledge of abundances of chemical species in vehicle exhaust is essentially required as an input for receptor models which are used for source apportionment studies.
  Earlier, internationally available data (US-EPA) had been used for this purpose.
  Considering difference in the atmospheric conditions, technology & fuel quality and its bearing on vehicle exhaust, it was needed to develop vehicle exhaust profiles specifically for Indian vehicles.

Methodology
Comprehensive data base on source profiles is generated for Indian vehicles, which includes
  Chemical characterization of PM as per international standard procedures with proper QA/QC protocols.
  Analysis of exhaust PM from wide array of Indian Vehicles
  Detailed chemical speciation of vehicle exhaust particulate matter for the following:
 
Carbon fractions
Carbon fractions based on temperature (Organic Carbon-OC1, OC2, OC3 & OC4 and Elemental Carbon-EC1, EC2 & EC3) using Thermal Optical Reflectance (TOR) Carbon Analyzer.
Ions
Anions- fluoride, chloride, bromide, sulphate, nitrate & phosphate and Cations-sodium, ammonium, potassium, magnesium & calcium using Ion Chromatography
Elements
Analysis of elements like Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, Ca, Br, V, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Ti, Ga, Rb, Y, Zr, Pd, Ag, In, Sn, La Se, Sr, Mo, Cr, Cd, Sb, Ba, and Pb using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (ED-XRF)
Molecular Markers
Poly cyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) analysis using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  Compilation of the chemical speciation data for the above species in the form of fraction of the total PM mass with the uncertainties in measurements associated for each parameter.

Applications
Exhaust chemical speciation data is used as a vehicular source profiles for input to receptor models for source apportionment of ambient particulate matter
Design and Development of Circulating Coolant Corrosion Test rig
ARAI has successfully designed and developed Coolant Circulating Corrosion Test Rig as per Standard IS 5759/JIS K 2234. The test rig includes 3 spare sets of metal coupons of Aluminum, Cast Iron, Steel, Brass, Solder, Copper as per IS 5759 / JIS K 2234. Metal Coupons for the testing as per IS 5759/JIS K 2234 are also developed by us.
 
Easy availability of engine coolant test rigs and metallic test coupons as per JIS K 2234 / IS 5759 is identified as the first and foremost difficulty.

Objective
To develop circulating coolant corrosion test rig with following salient features
  Compact and robust mechanical structure, portable rig
  Simulation of cooling system by using engine block- head assembly radiator, and water pump
  Digital display of flow meter, temperature indicator and controller ,hour meter
  Controls -
 
  Relay based electrical control panel.
  PLC based electrical control panel.
  PLC / PC interface with data logging & remote control facility.
  The test rig can be built by using targeted vehicle cooling system components as per customer requirement.

Significance
Circulating coolant corrosion test evaluates the engine coolant under a close approach to cooling system functioning and thus this method provides better screening of engine coolants than possible from glassware test. The coolant is circulated under controlled conditions using cooling system components of a vehicle and there by maintaining a greater ratio of metal surface to coolant volume. The test simulates conventional coolant circulation of an automotive cooling system.

Methodology
Engine Coolant testing involves following major performance tests besides preliminary tests
  Corrosion of Cast Aluminum at Heat Transfer Surface.
  Metal Corrosion in Glassware
  Circulating Coolant Corrosion
  Effect on rubbers

Coolant evaluation using circulating coolant test rig
Corrosion rate is evaluated through change in mass (mg/cm2) of metal strips after test. Coolant properties like pH and reserve alkalinity are measured before and after test to evaluate change due to circulation. A typical case study of coolant evaluation using circulating coolant test rig is presented below.
Photographs of Strips & Solution
Before & After Test

Applications
  Testing of engine coolant using rig for improved quality assurance during formulation
  Building up of competence to evaluate engine coolant under close to field conditions