A Materials Selection Tool for Automotive Structural and Body Skin Systems 881303
The traditional approach to materials selection is to compare the results of direct substitution of alternative materials on an individual part-by-part basis. The engineer then frequently faces so many design constraints that use of a new material is infeasible. This approach also precludes redesign to optimize the characteristics of new materials. A methodology is presented which facilitates the consideration of a large system comprised of many components. The management science technique of “multi-attribute utility analysis” is applied as a tool for use by automotive design engineers. Attributes include capital cost, piece cost, weight, design flexibility and corrosion resistance. The results serve as a decision making tool to determine which design provides the greatest overall value. Also, the results may be used as a design aid to quantify desirable tradeoffs between attributes, thus pointing the way towards optimal redesign.