Verification and Test Methodologies for Structural Aluminum Repair 2003-01-0570
The increasing use of aluminum in the design of Body In White (BIW) structures created the need to develop and verify repair methodologies specific to this substrate. Over the past century, steel has been used as the primary material in the production of automotive BIW systems. While repair methods and techniques in steel have been evolving for decades, aluminum structural repair requires special attention for such common practices as welding, mechanical fastening, and the use of adhesives. This paper outlines some of the advanced verification and testing methodologies used to develop collision repair procedures for the aluminum 2003 Jaguar XJ sedan. It includes the identification of potential failure modes found in production and customer applications, the formulation of testing methodologies, CAE verification testing and component subsystem prove-out. The objective of the testing was to develop repair methodologies that meet or exceed production system performance characteristics. Through the test methodologies outlined, repair procedures were developed for the Jaguar XJ saloon that meet or exceed the vehicle's requirements. These robust procedures help ensure the repairability of aluminum BIW systems and help promote the increased usage of aluminum in today's vehicles.