Material Characterization and Computer Modeling Help Optimize Automobile Parts and their Manufacturing 2001-01-3070
Automobile part suppliers have always relied on trial and error in developing products and processes. Prototypes are built for testing results of which are used to alter the design of a part or the way to make it till arriving to a compromise. This approach is unfortunately not effective: it costs time and money. Further, resulting products or processes are not optimum.
An alternative to the traditional trial and error product and process development is still trial and error, but on a computer. Products or ways to make them are simulated through combined materials and finite element analyses. The design of a part can be altered faster and at a low cost as can changes to materials and the manufacturing process.
This paper describes some material tests necessary to building computer models that simulate the performance and processing of automobile parts. It presents studies WIDL successfully completed on behalf of suppliers to “the big three” in Canada and the United States.