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Technical Paper

A Data Mining and Optimization Process with Shape and Size Design Variables Consideration for Vehicle Application

2018-04-03
2018-01-0584
This paper presents a design process with data mining technique and advanced optimization strategy. The proposed design method provides insights in three aspects. First, data mining technique is employed for analysis to identify key factors of design variables. Second, relationship between multiple types of size and shape design variables and performance responses can be analyzed. Last but not least, design preference can be initialized based on data analysis to provide priori guidance for the starting design points of optimization algorithm. An exhaust system design problem which largely contributes to the improvement of vehicular Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) performance is employed for the illustration of the process. Two types of design parameters, structural variable (gauge of component) and layout variable (hanger location), are considered in the studied case.
Technical Paper

A Comparative Study of Two RVE Modelling Methods for Chopped Carbon Fiber SMC

2017-03-28
2017-01-0224
To advance vehicle lightweighting, chopped carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) is identified as a promising material to replace metals. However, there are no effective tools and methods to predict the mechanical property of the chopped carbon fiber SMC due to the high complexity in microstructure features and the anisotropic properties. In this paper, a Representative Volume Element (RVE) approach is used to model the SMC microstructure. Two modeling methods, the Voronoi diagram-based method and the chip packing method, are developed to populate the RVE. The elastic moduli of the RVE are calculated and the two methods are compared with experimental tensile test conduct using Digital Image Correlation (DIC). Furthermore, the advantages and shortcomings of these two methods are discussed in terms of the required input information and the convenience of use in the integrated processing-microstructure-property analysis.
Journal Article

Towards Optimization of Multi-material Structure: Metamodeling of Mixed-Variable Problems

2016-04-05
2016-01-0302
In structural design optimization, it is challenging to determine the optimal dimensions and material for each component simultaneously. Material selection of each part is always formulated as a categorical design variable in structural optimization problems. However, it is difficult to solve such mixed-variable problems using the metamodelbased strategy, because the prediction accuracy of metamodels deteriorates significantly when categorical variables exist. This paper investigates two different strategies of mixed-variable metamodeling: the “feature separating” strategy and the “all-in-one” strategy. A supervised learning-enhanced cokriging method is proposed, which fuses multi-fidelity information to predict new designs’ responses. The proposed method is compared with several existing mixed-variable metamodeling methods to understand their pros and cons. These methods include Neural Network (NN) regression, Classification and Regression Tree (CART) and Gaussian Process (GP).
Journal Article

Modeling and Simulation of Compression Molding Process for Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) of Chopped Carbon Fiber Composites

2017-03-28
2017-01-0228
Compression molded SMC composed of chopped carbon fiber and resin polymer which balances the mechanical performance and manufacturing cost presents a promising solution for vehicle lightweight strategy. However, the performance of the SMC molded parts highly depends on the compression molding process and local microstructure, which greatly increases the cost for the part level performance testing and elongates the design cycle. ICME (Integrated Computational Material Engineering) approaches are thus necessary tools to reduce the number of experiments required during part design and speed up the deployment of the SMC materials. As the fundamental stage of the ICME workflow, commercial software packages for SMC compression molding exist yet remain not fully validated especially for chopped fiber systems. In the present study, SMC plaques are prepared through compression molding process.
Journal Article

Process Integration and Optimization of ICME Carbon Fiber Composites for Vehicle Lightweighting: A Preliminary Development

2017-03-28
2017-01-0229
Process integration and optimization is the key enabler of the Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) of carbon fiber composites. In this work, automated workflows are developed for two types of composites: Sheet Molding Compounds (SMC) short fiber composites, and multi-layer unidirectional (UD) composites. For SMC, the proposed workflow integrates material processing simulation, microstructure representation volume element (RVE) models, material property prediction and structure preformation simulation to enable multiscale, multidisciplinary analysis and design. Processing parameters, microstructure parameters and vehicle subframe geometry parameters are defined as the design variables; the stiffness and weight of the structure are defined as the responses. For multi-layer UD structure, this work focuses on the discussion of different design representation methods and their impacts on the optimization performance.
Journal Article

A Comparative Study of Two ASTM Shear Test Standards for Chopped Carbon Fiber SMC

2018-04-03
2018-01-0098
Chopped carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) material is a promising material for mass-production lightweight vehicle components. However, the experimental characterization of SMC material property is a challenging task and needs to be further investigated. There now exist two ASTM standards (ASTM D7078/D7078M and ASTM D5379/D5379M) for characterizing the shear properties of composite materials. However, it is still not clear which standard is more suitable for SMC material characterization. In this work, a comparative study is conducted by performing two independent Digital Image Correlation (DIC) shear tests following the two standards, respectively. The results show that ASTM D5379/D5379M is not appropriate for testing SMC materials. Moreover, the failure mode of these samples indicates that the failure is caused by the additional moment raised by the improper design of the fixture.
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