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Technical Paper

Achieving Dent Resistance Improvements and Weight Reduction Through Stamping Process Optimization and Steel Substitution

Resistance to dents and dings, caused by plant handling and in-service use, is generally recognized as an important performance requirement for automotive outer body panels. This paper examines the dent resistance improvements that can be achieved by maximizing surface stretch, through adjustments to the press settings, and substitution of a higher strength steel grade. Initially, the stamping process was optimized using the steel supplied for production: a Ti/Nb-stabilized, ultra low carbon (ULC) grade. The stamping process was subsequently optimized with a Nb-stabilized, rephosphorized ULC steel, at various thicknesses. The formed panels were evaluated for percent surface stretch, percent thinning, in-panel yield strength after forming, and dent performance. The results showed that dent resistance can be significantly improved, even at a reduced steel thickness, thus demonstrating a potential for weight savings.
Technical Paper

Determination of the Forming Limit Curve Using Digital Image Correlation - Comparison of Different Approaches to Pinpoint the Onset of Localized Necking

Digital image correlation (DIC) technique has been proved as a potent tool to determine the forming limit curve (FLC) of sheet metal. One of the major technical challenges using the DIC to generate FLC is to accurately pinpoint the onset of localized necking from the DIC data. In addition to the commonly applied ISO 12004-2 standard, a plethora of other DIC data analysis approaches have been developed and used by various users and researchers. In this study, different approaches, including spatial, temporal and hybrid approaches, have been practiced to determine the limit strains at the onset of localized necking. The formability of a 980GEN3 sheet steel was studied in this work using the Marciniak cup test coupled with a DIC system. The resulting forming limits determined by different approaches were compared. Strengths and limitations of each approach were discussed. In addition, the conventional finger-touch approach was excised using specimens with perceivable localized necks.
Technical Paper

Modeling Energy Absorption and Deformation of Multicorner Columns in Lateral Bending

The frame rail has an impact on the crash performance of body-on-frame (BOF) and uni-body vehicles. Recent developments in materials and forming technology have prompted research into improving the energy absorption and deformation mode of the frame rail design. It is worthwhile from a timing and cost standpoint to predict the behavior of the front rail in a crash situation through finite element techniques. This study focuses on improving the correlation of the frame component Finite Element model to physical test data through sensitivity analysis. The first part of the study concentrated on predicting and improving the performance of the front rail in a frontal crash [1]. However, frame rails in an offset crash or side crash undergo a large amount of bending. This paper discusses appropriate modeling and testing procedures for front rails in a bending situation.
Journal Article

Forming Limit Curves of Advanced High Strength Steels: Experimental Determination and Empirical Prediction

For the past decades, the adoption of empirical equations in the forming limit curve (FLC) calculation for conventional steels has greatly simplified the forming severity assessment in both forming simulations and on the stamping shop floor. Keeler’s equation based on the n-value and sheet thickness is the most popular one used in North America. However, challenges have been encountered on the validity of the equation for advanced high strength steels (AHSS) since Keeler’s equation was developed based on the FLC data mostly from mild steels and conventional high strength steels. In this study, forming limits of various AHSS grades under different strain conditions are experimentally determined using digital image correlation technique. Both Marciniak cup and Nakazima dome tests are exercised to demonstrate the differences in the resultant forming limits determined with different test methods.
Technical Paper

Determination of Fracture Strain of Advanced High Strength Steels Using Digital Image Correlation in Combination with Thinning Measurement

Fracture strain data provide essential information for material selection and serve as an important failure criterion in computer simulations of crash events. Traditionally, the fracture strain was measured by evaluating the thinning at fracture using tools such as a microscope or a point micrometer. In the recent decades, digital image correlation (DIC) has evolved as an advanced optical technique to record full-field strain history of materials during deformation. Using this technique, a complete set of the fracture strains (including major, minor, and thickness strains) can be approximated for the material. However, results directly obtained from the DIC can be dependent on the experiment setup and evaluation parameters, which potentially introduce errors to the reported values.
Journal Article

Axial Crash Testing and Finite Element Modeling of A 12-Sided Steel Component

To improve the energy absorption capacity of front-end structures during a vehicle crash, a novel 12-sided cross-section was developed and tested. Computer-aided engineering (CAE) studies showed superior axial crash performance of the 12-sided component over more conventional cross-sections. When produced from advanced high strength steels (AHSS), the 12-sided cross-section offers opportunities for significant mass-savings for crash energy absorbing components such as front or rear rails and crush tips. In this study, physical crash tests and CAE modeling were conducted on tapered 12-sided samples fabricated from AHSS. The effects of crash trigger holes, different steel grades and bake hardening on crash behavior were examined. Crash sensitivity was also studied by using two different part fabrication methods and two crash test methods. The 12-sided components showed regular folding mode and excellent energy absorption capacity in axial crash tests.