Automotive design concepts are becoming increasingly more complex, with ever increasing demands of functionality, cost, reliability and legal requirements to be met within continuously shortened lead time. With this increasing complexity, the development process becomes a balance act between different solutions, their risk and consequences. Thus tools must be available in the design process to evaluate and optimise the structural design to meet these requirements. A research project has thus been launched to address these issues and the following overall objective is defined:
To develop tools and guidelines for modelling of automotive structures subjected to impact loading conditions where focus is placed on an optimum and robust design.
The objective will be met by means of a co-ordinated research program consisting of one PhD project at the University of Linköping in Sweden, one PhD project at SIMLab, NTNU and one research project where scientists from SINTEF Materials and Chemistry are involved. In this research program high-strength steel will be chosen as the structural material, but the tools and guidelines are general and will be applicable to other materials as well. The research program will address the following topics: 1) Deterministic mater ial modelling of high-strength steels for forming and crash analyses, 2) Methods development for multi-disciplinary stochastic crash problems, 3) Robustness study of a crash member taking variations in the material properties and geometry into account.