Fan Shroud Design for Low Speed Damageability

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1300

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
An engine cooling system in an automotive vehicle comprises of heat exchangers such as a radiator, charge air cooler, and oil coolers along with engine cooling fans. Typical automotive engine-cooling fan assembly includes an electric motor mounted on to a shroud that encloses radiator core. Typically a fan shroud is made of plastic material and holds one or two motors and is supported at four corners. One of the main drivers of a fan shroud design is Noise, Vibration, and Harshness requirements, without compromising the main function - airflow requirement for cooling. Usually, stiffness requirement is not given adequate attention in arriving at optimal design of a fan shroud. Research Council for Automotive Repairs (RCAR), based in Europe, issues vehicle ratings on the basis of its performance in Low Speed Damageability (LSD) tests. One such test is a 15kph, 40% offset rigid wall impact to the front of the vehicle. Major consideration in LSD assessment of a vehicle is the cost of repair of damaged parts. Any damage to the vehicle part will require a repair/replace of that part and hence increases the cost of ownership for customers. In low speed impacts, fan motors are subjected to sudden decelerations that can cause motors to swing in fore/aft direction. This can cause damage to the radiator core. Discussion on an inadequate fan shroud stiffness that causes damage to radiator core and the evolution of subsequent design to eliminate the damage is presented in this paper. In addition, an effective guideline that can be used in designing a fan shroud to eliminate damage due to inertial movement of fan motors in low speed impacts is also presented.
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