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Title: Draping simulation-supported framework for cost- and weight- effective composite design

Authors: Per Mårtensson; Dan Zenkert; Malin Åkermo

Addresses: Department of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden; Volvo Car Corporation, Dept. 93600/PVÖSN23, Gothenburg, Sweden ' Department of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden ' Department of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The importance of design for manufacturability when designing composite structures for high-volume automotive applications is great. One key aspect of the producibility and the quality of the final part, as well as the level of complexity of manufacturing operations, are the formability of fibre fabrics. Simulations of this forming, in the composite industry referred to as draping simulations, can greatly improve the manufacturability of the design. Draping simulations will also indicate where areas become too complex, undrapable, to be able to form using one cloth of fabric. In this paper, the draping simulation's undrapable areas are considered as guidance when defining suitable split lines in a composite structure applying a differential design approach. Here, the simulations are located in a greater framework to provide guidelines for a well-balanced cost and weight-effective composite design, and the integration of draping simulations, as well as the framework, is exemplified in a case study. It is observed that the choice of split lines becomes more methodical and less subjective compared to previous approaches. However, draping simulations today are not optimised for high-volume forming processes, and the work of defining split lines becomes complex. In order not to become too time consuming and complicated, draping simulations are required to use single-step forming processes.

Keywords: automotive; composites; cost; manufacturing constraints; multi objective optimisation; weight optimisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAUTOC.2017.086512

International Journal of Automotive Composites, 2017 Vol.3 No.1, pp.1 - 13

Received: 21 Mar 2016
Accepted: 21 Mar 2016

Published online: 07 Sep 2017 *

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