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Exhausting enterprise – Tenneco hits the suitable be aware on the Chevy Corvette | Automotive Business Interview
Tenneco is supplying thermal and acoustic administration options in an exhaust system design for first-ever, mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette. To get a greater understanding of the whys and wherefores, we spoke to Dmitri Konson, Vice President World Engineering, Tenneco Clear Air.
How did the collaboration between Tenneco and GM come up?
Tenneco and Common Motors, in actual fact considered one of our largest OEM purchasers, have a really lengthy and robust relationship, spanning a few years. Tenneco is supplying GM with Clear Air, Powertrain and Journey Efficiency applied sciences for passenger automobiles and lightweight and medium-duty vans, so we all know how the corporate operates and have substantial expertise of cooperating with GM´s engineers and supporting their growth work. Our experience of system integration at Tenneco Clear Air ensured we have been in a position to develop a chilly finish exhaust that was applicable for a automobile as legendary because the Corvette with its high-performance small block V8 LT2 engine.
By the way, it isn’t the primary time that we’ve contributed to the sports activities automobile’s drivetrain, both. We equipped key emission management applied sciences for the earlier C7 technology, which was the primary car to utilise our digital valve know-how for differentiating acoustic efficiency. As one other illustration of Tenneco’s good relationship with Common Motors, the Powertrain enterprise group has just lately helped GM with the manufacturing of ventilators within the battle in opposition to Covid-19. The wiring parts required for the lifesaving gear have been sourced from considered one of Tenneco Powertrain’s Lighting vegetation.
How did the undertaking progress and what measurement and testing strategies did the Tenneco staff use?
The Corvette’s emissions system was a worldwide effort led by Tenneco Clear Air’s Grass Lake, Michigan, US and Edenkoben, Germany, product engineering groups. Measurement and testing strategies included a full suite of CAE simulations of acoustics, backpressure and sturdiness coupled with goal measurements and subjective car evaluations, coordinated with GM, to fulfill the Corvette’s signature sound high quality necessities. In view of the calls for for brief growth and time-to-market durations throughout the introduction of recent merchandise and applied sciences, simulation methods are used routinely at Tenneco for the feasibility research, course of simulation and manufacturing planning. Digital simulation utilizing FEM, CFD and different laptop simulation instruments are nicely correlated with laboratory outcomes, permitting us cut back the quantity of bodily testing required to completely validate the product.
What challenges did the swap to mid-engine structure create within the growth of the exhaust system?
It is easy to see why a mid-engine structure is so engaging for a high-performance automobile, as in comparison with a front-engine structure, it gives a myriad of driving dynamics-related benefits. Putting the engine near the centre of the automobile makes it simpler to attain optimum weight distribution between the entrance and rear wheels, creating extra impartial dealing with and particularly so below arduous cornering on undulating roads. In fact, with such a structure, providing extra participating driver expertise, there are inevitable trade-offs and challenges for the engineering staff. The structure has a significant affect on the accessible area, the place the engine itself with the whole lot that makes it run and breathe competes for accessible cubic inches with the exhaust system. Our Clear Air engineering staff needed to overcome challenges that included warmth administration and the usage of shorter pipe lengths, the latter typically making it tougher to fulfill exhaust laws and laws. This introduced a sufficiently big problem in itself, however the options additionally had to make sure optimum efficiency and effectivity, whereas delivering the signature engine sound that’s so synonymous with the Corvette.
Have been there any specific engineering challenges?
The warmth tolerance of conventional lively valves posed a major hurdle. Utilized in high-performance exhaust techniques, these valves work to fluctuate the system again stress, with the intention to create the right stability of efficiency, sound traits and regulatory compliance. Sometimes, such digital valves can’t function reliably above 750°C exhaust gasoline temperatures, which is ok within the overwhelming majority of purposes, however within the case of a mid-engine, high-performance configuration the temperature can peak considerably larger than this restrict. Our answer was to develop a valve association with the actuator decoupled from the valve physique, working via a hyperlink arm, to drastically cut back warmth conduction to the valve electronics. The usual exhaust has two newly developed high-temperature valves with enhanced warmth resistance that work with the car´s Lively Gasoline Administration system, supporting the engine’s cylinder deactivation operate for optimum effectivity and decrease emissions. The non-compulsory efficiency exhaust makes use of two extra, typical newest technology electronically managed valves from our portfolio on the rear of the exhaust system, the place temperatures are decrease, to ship acoustic differentiation for the a number of driving modes that may be chosen by the driving force.
Did the warmth build-up have an effect on different areas?
Making a thermal barrier that stops the undesirable switch of excessive thermal vitality from the exhaust to the car’s surrounding parts and the cabin was a significant consideration.
Making a thermal barrier that stops the undesirable switch of excessive thermal vitality from the exhaust to the car’s surrounding parts and the cabin was a significant consideration. Containing the warmth is necessary to forestall failures of different techniques and optimise consolation. To this finish, our engineers developed particular multi-layer warmth shields, constructed from extremely environment friendly insulation sandwiched between two skinny stainless-steel layers. The usage of the multi-layer defend know-how minimises the burden and package deal measurement of the completed meeting, offering the minimal profile that not solely meets engineering necessities, but additionally seems to be good when the engine lid is raised.
And what in regards to the Corvette’s iconic sound?
The Corvette’s famend for its V8 soundtrack and it is an enormous a part of its character, so it was important that this was preserved. To satisfy this goal, our engineering groups got here up with a brand-new method to circulation mixing between the left and proper sections of the exhaust techniques, attaining optimum acoustics throughout all the rpm and cargo vary. On a automobile as placing because the Corvette, we could not neglect the aesthetics both. Consequently, the design of the exhaust options 4 tailpipe shops, which contributes to the automobile’s distinctive exhaust exit design and hints at its immense efficiency.
Has Covid-19 affected manufacturing of the usual and non-compulsory exhaust system?
The Corvette C8 was one of many most-eagerly awaited automobiles of this yr and had solely been in manufacturing a short time earlier than the pandemic, so we naturally wished to assist GM meet buyer demand. Plus, as an OE provider to GM, our schedule is aligned to theirs, in order with all our worldwide manufacturing websites, we tailored our Clear Air manufacturing facility in Smithville, Tennessee in order that our workers might safely proceed producing the exhaust system. Measures we’ve carried out embody limiting guests, social distancing and reviewing the state of affairs on a day-to-day foundation and performing as applicable.
Has the undertaking been a spotlight for Tenneco Clear Air?
It’s extremely rewarding to be a part of the Corvette story, particularly in serving to it evolve into its strongest and lengthy awaited chapter. Our international growth staff effort into the engineering of an exhaust system for such a high-performance, mid-engine car is a strong demonstration of our system integration capabilities and what we have developed is prone to have a really optimistic impact on different initiatives the place packaging necessities and intensely excessive exhaust temperatures pose plenty of challenges.