This paper describes a new concept for a Ford GT instrument panel (IP) based on structural magnesium components, which resulted in what may be the industry's first structural IP (primary load path). Two US-patent applications are ongoing.
Design criteria included cost, corrosion protection, crashworthiness assessments, noise vibration harshness (NVH) performance, and durability. Die casting requirements included feasibility for production, coating strategy and assembly constraints.
The magnesium die-cast crosscar beam, radio box and console top help meet the vehicle weight target. The casting components use an AM60 alloy that has the necessary elongation properties required for crashworthiness.
The resulting IP design has many unique features and the flexibility present in die-casting that would not be possible using conventional steel stampings and assembly techniques. Section properties of the magnesium diecasting were easily modified to develop a structure with the necessary structural characteristics that balanced NVH, durability, stiffness, and crash performance. These targets were achieved in a timely fashion, based on an extremely short time budget.