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Technical Paper

Development of the 2001 Pontiac Aztek Body Structure

This paper documents the development process of the 2001 Pontiac Aztek body structure for improved noise & vibration performance. Successful vehicle development under an accelerated timing schedule demands clearly defined body structure vibration performance targets and critical dependence on the math based modeling process. Specifications for global body structure vibration performance were generated through a two step process. First, a benchmarking activity was undertaken to comprehend competitive vehicle performance. Secondly, a frequency domain “mode map” was constructed to minimize vehicle subsystem interaction. Computer simulation models were developed to predict the body structure performance. A coarse full body structure model was used to define body structure section size and joint requirements. Detailed analysis models of body joint areas were used to synthesize the joint design.
Technical Paper

2002 Pontiac Montana Frequency Improvements Employing Structural Foam

This paper documents a joint development process between General Motors and Dow Automotive to improve primary body structure frequencies on the GM family of midsize vans by utilizing cavity-filling structural foam. Optimum foam locations, foam quantity, and foam density within the body structure were determined by employing both math-based modeling and vehicle hardware testing techniques. Finite element analysis (FEA) simulations of the Body-In-White (BIW) and “trimmed body” were used to predict the global body structure modes and associated resonant frequencies with and without structural foam. The objective of the FEA activity was to quantify frequency improvements to the primary body structure modes of matchboxing, bending, and torsion when using structural foam. Comprehensive hardware testing on the vehicle was also executed to validate the frequency improvements observed in the FEA results.