Incorporating Manufacturing Effects in Structural Design: Flex & Dent
As automotive OEM’s strive to significantly reduce development costs a common strategy has evolved, to eliminate the testing of physical prototypes and replace by virtual testing (CAE) in order to achieve low cost certification. However, for many components subjected to complex loadings, it has not been possible to achieve correlation between experimental and numerical results. It has long been postulated that the manufacturing process can have a major effect on the structural performance. However, a comprehensive software tool set has not been available to efficiently investigate this effect. This paper details the strategy for the efficient coupling between manufacturing process and structural product simulations. A key element of this strategy is a new software tool Altair HyperMap. This technology is applied to the ‘Flex and Dent’ assessment of an aluminium panel. Invaluable insight into the performance of the panel is obtained by incorporating the manufacturing effects. Correlation of the Flex resistance was substantially improved due to the inclusion of these effects.