Using CAE to Guide Material Selection Process in Automotive Interior Applications 1999-01-3177
The increased focus on cost reduction remains one of the major interests of the global automotive industry in general and of interior systems suppliers in particular. This emphasis is heightened due to globalization and expansion of automotive OEMs in their product line, so that they may participate and compete in lower priced niche markets. The cost of plastic components in the automotive interior is about $500 per vehicle, of which a significant portion is material cost alone. Low cost materials hitherto not considered traditional autoplastics are making inroads due to the advancements in the interior component manufacturing technology.
This paper describes the process of material selection for IPs using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools to evaluate their functional requirements, such as noise vibration and harshness (NVH), sunload deformations, and safety performance. Various candidate materials were considered and CAE analyses were performed to evaluate a truck IP's functionality requirements. Although materials with higher moduli are preferred for their stiffness, they tend to have diminished dimensional stability as well as scratch resistance. Further CAE analysis was performed to determine the optimum modulus to meet NVH and sunload requirements. A material with the resulting modulus was then evaluated for crash requirements and matched against the original design performance.