1979-02-01

Lightweight Component Design Via Computer-Aided Engineering 790984

Systematic computer-aided engineering (CAE) techniques are applied to the design of a light weight automotive tailgate. Design loads and boundary conditions are defined by existing design specifications and testing an existing “reference” tailgate.Finite element techniques are employed to understand the load flow and performance of the reference tailgate, and also used to investigate alternative designs which maximize the benefits of aluminum, steel, and fiber-reinforced-plastic (FRP) designs. Trade-offs between yield, stiffness, and cost for the various materials are studied analytically; and a prototype FRP tailgate is manufactured to validate the finite element predictions.

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