2005 Ford GT Magnesium Instrument Panel Cross Car Beam 2005-01-0341
Ford GT 2005 vehicle was designed for performance, timing, cost, and styling to preserve Ford GT40 vintage look. In this vehicle program, many advanced manufacturing processes and light materials were deployed including aluminum and magnesium. This paper briefly explains one unique design concept for a Ford GT instrument panel comprised of a structural magnesium cross-car beam and other components, i.e. radio box and console top, which is believed to be the industry's first structural I/P from vehicle crash load and path perspectives. The magnesium I/P design criteria include magnesium casting properties, cost, corrosion protection, crashworthiness assessments, noise vibration harshness performance, and durability. Magnesium die casting requirements include high pressure die cast process with low casting porosity and sound quality, casting dimensional stability, corrosion protection and coating strategy, joining and assembly constraints. Magnesium alloy AM60B is used here for its good castability and ductility required for crashworthiness. The castings produced with different casting cavity and fill conditions, i.e. vacuum and aerobic, respectively, will be presented. The resulting magnesium cross-car beam structure enables the Ford GT to reach vehicle performance targets in a timely fashion and budget.