Topology Optimization Used to Make Lighter Plastic Parts
Kanto Auto Works, Ltd. is a core member of the Toyota Group, developing and producing Toyota vehicle bodies. The company’s organic-material engineering department evaluates and develops plastic parts to be used in vehicle bodies. In the initial stage of development for large plastic parts, such as instrument panels, rigidity and heat resistance are verified using computer aided engineering (CAE). While plastic is significantly lighter than metal and can be molded into complex shapes, deformation, such as warping from external force or thermal expansion in high temperatures, also occurs easily. In order to make parts lighter while still ensuring sufficient rigidity and heat resistance, there is a need to identify which areas require reinforcement.