Dynamics Study of an Automobile Exhaust System
Abstract: Low vibration levels are a critical objective in automobile exhaust system design. It is therefore important for design engineers to be able to predict, describe and assess the dynamics of various system design proposals during product development. The aim of this thesis is to provide a deeper understanding of the dynamics of automobile exhaust systems to form a basis for improved design and the development of a computationally inexpensive theoretical system model. Modelling, simulation and experimental investigation of a typical exhaust system are performed to gain such an understanding and to evaluate modelling ideas. Special attention is given to the influence of the bellows-type flexible joint on the dynamics of the exhaust system. The investigations show that the exhaust system is essentially linear downstream of the flexible joint. Highly simplified finite element models of the major components within this part are suggested. These models incorporate adjustable flexibility in their connection to the exhaust pipes and a procedure is developed for automatic updating of these parameters to obtain better correlation with experimental results. The agreement between the simulation results of the updated models and the experimental results is very good, which confirms the usability of these models. Furthermore, the investigations show the great reduction of vibration transmission to the exhaust system that the bellows-type joint, either with or without an inside liner, gives in comparison with a stiff joint. For the combined bellows and liner joint, vibration transmission is, however, higher than for the bellows alone. Inclusion of the liner also makes the exhaust system behaviour significantly non-linear and complex, whereas the system behaviour proves to be essentially linear when the joint has no liner. This shows the importance of including a model of the liner in the theoretical system model when the liner is present in the real system. The choice of whether or not to include a liner in the real system is obviously a complex issue. The advantages of reduced bellows temperature and improved flow conditions should be weighed against the disadvantages found in this work. By combining the above findings it is concluded that in coming studies of how engine vibrations affect the exhaust system, the latter may be considered as a linear system if the flexible joint consists of a bellows. If the joint also includes a liner, the system may be considered as a linear subsystem that is excited via a non-linear joint.
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