Investigation of Body Panel Stiffness as Predicted by Finite Element Analysis 900716

The stiffness of an automobile body panel is significant to structural performance as well as customer perception. Body panel stiffness can be predicted with limited accuracy using spherical shell theory, empirical methods and linear elastic finite element codes. This paper describes a study to confirm that body panel stiffness can be accurately predicted by non-linear finite element analysis. Specifically, the stiffnesses of two sets of 8 simple bispherically curved test panels with curvature and thickness differences were experimentally measured and correlated to ABAQUS non-linear finite element plots. It was concluded that increased accuracy in body panel stiffness predictions can be obtained with non-linear finite element analysis techniques.


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