Virtual Development of High-Tonnage Hydroform Press 2006-01-1656
This paper discusses the virtual development process used to support design of a high-tonnage hydroform press. It also discusses the optimized design for structural integrity while achieving low target cost. Other considerations included optimization of setup issues such as press fabrication and assembly. Due to tightly constrained development time, a diverse range of CAE methodologies were used to refine and validate the design. Detailed linear and nonlinear finite element models were developed to provide the required accuracy in the critical regions of the press structure. From these detailed models simplified analytical tools were developed to calculate the key press parameters such as alternating stress and predicted fatigue life. Finite element models were validated with physical strain gage measurements from an array of strain gages installed on the production presses. Following some early structural incidents, more detailed CAE efforts led to improved designs which were retrofitted into early generation presses and incorporated into next generation designs.