CAE modelling of cast aluminium in automotive structures

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Mekanik och hållfasthetslära; Linköpings universitet/Mekanik och hållfasthetslära

Abstract: In the automobile industry, there is a big push for the automotive car manufacturers to base engineering decisions on the results of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) solutions, and to transform the prototyping and testing, from a costly iterative process to a final verification and validation step. The variability in components material properties and environmental conditions together with the lack of knowledge about the underlying physics of complex systems often make it impractical to make reliable predictions based on only deterministic CAE models. One such area is the CAE modelling of cast aluminium components. These cast aluminium components have gained a huge relevance in the automobile industries due to their commendable mechanical properties. The advantage of the cast aluminium alloys are being a well-established alloy system in manufacturing processes, their functional integrity and relatively low weight. However, the presence of pores and micro-voids obtained during the manufacturing process constitutes a specific material behaviour and establishes a challenge in modelling of the cast materials. Furthermore, the low ductility of the materialdemands for the advanced numerical model to predict the failure. The main focus of this master thesis work is to investigate modelling technique of a cast aluminium alloy component, a spring tower, for a drop tower test and validate the predicted behaviour with the physical test results. Volvo Car Corporation currently uses a material model provided by MATFEM for cast aluminium parts which are explored in this thesis work, to validate the material model for component level testing. The methodology used to achieve this objective was to develop a boundary condition to perform component level tests in the drop tower and to correlate these with the obtained results found by using various modelling techniques in the explicit solver LS-DYNA. Therefore, precise and realistic modelling of the drop tower is crucial because the simulation results can be influenced by major design changes. A detailed finite element model for the spring tower has been developed from the observations made during the physical testing. The refined model showed good agreement with the existing model for the spring tower and observations from physical tests.

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