Material Selection During Early Design Phase Using Simplified Models 2011-01-0526
Optimal material selection for a part becomes quite challenging with dynamically changing data from various sources. Multiple manufacturing locations with varying supplier capabilities add to the complexity. There is need to balance product attribute requirements with manufacturing feasibility, cost, sourcing, and vehicle program strategies. The sequential consideration of product attribute, manufacturing, and sourcing aspects tends to result in design churns.
Ford R&A is developing a web based material recommender tool to help engineers with material selection integrating sourcing, manufacturing, and design considerations. This tool is designed to filter the list of materials for a specific part and provide a prioritized list of materials; and allow engineers to do weight and cost trade-off studies. The initial implementation of this material recommender tool employs simplified analytical calculators for evaluation of structural performance metrics of parts. The intent of the material recommender tool is to identify directionally correct material choices for individual parts to complement the assembly level design optimization using detailed finite element models.
The study presented in this paper work compares the structural performance typical automotive parts simplified models with that of the detailed finite element analyses on the actual models. The study is made for various load cases considering variation of material and geometric properties. This paper compares performance trends between simple calculation and FEA based approach results for typical automotive parts; and provides a justification for using the simple calculators in the material recommender tool.