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Automotive lightweighting

Meeting the demands for more fuel efficient vehicles

Simulation for automotive lightweighting

Government regulations (CAFE) and consumer demand for vehicles with increased fuel economy are accelerating. With different options available to achieve fuel economy targets, automotive lightweighting is emerging as a clear favourite.

While physical prototyping and testing can be costly and time-consuming while returning limited results, Simulation allows you to fully explore different lightweighting opportunities within automotive designs

Automotive lightweighting simulation in action

Explore specific lightweighting examples by clicking the nodes on the vehicle and view the associated simulation results.

DATA ATTRIBUTES INFORMATION ARE HERE!! - NEEDS TO BE UPDATE FOR EACH CAR PARTS

Hood

OBJECTIVE

Predict / Validate

PROCESS

Using data from a draping simulation, as-manufactured material properties were extracted and analysed. Fibre orientations were determined and the structural integrity of the part was verified to determine that it met the functional specifications.

BENEFITS

  • Weight reduction
  • Strengthen

TYPE

100% carbon fibre

DATA ATTRIBUTES INFORMATION ARE HERE!! - NEEDS TO BE UPDATE FOR EACH CAR PARTS

Front fascia

OBJECTIVE

Optimise

PROCESS

Using flexible cloud solving, hundreds of different materials and design iteration scenarios were tested to obtain the combination which yielded the lowest piece-part-cost and weight without taxing local computing resources.

BENEFITS

  • Weight reduction
  • Durability
  • Manufacturability

TYPE

100% plastic polymer

DATA ATTRIBUTES INFORMATION ARE HERE!! - NEEDS TO BE UPDATE FOR EACH CAR PARTS

Seat pans (2)

OBJECTIVE

Validate

PROCESS

The manufacturing process was simulated and a warpage analysis was performed to ensure the quality of the final part and to validate the overmoulding process before any tooling investments were made.

BENEFITS

  • Weight reduction
  • Meet safety requirements

TYPE

Overmolded composite blank

DATA ATTRIBUTES INFORMATION ARE HERE!! - NEEDS TO BE UPDATE FOR EACH CAR PARTS

Oil pan

OBJECTIVE

Predict

PROCESS

Fibre orientations were simulated and manipulated to optimise the strength of the part. The as-manufactured material properties were extracted to complete structural, thermal and vibration analysis to ensure product performance.

BENEFITS

  • Weight reduction
  • Durability
  • Metal replacement

TYPE

Fibre-reinforced plastic

DATA ATTRIBUTES INFORMATION ARE HERE!! - NEEDS TO BE UPDATE FOR EACH CAR PARTS

Valve Cover w/ Integrated
Oil Separator

OBJECTIVE

Predict

PROCESS

Simulation was used during the design stage to make decisions based on the manufacturability, material and thermal analysis, resulting in multiple components being combined into a single, integrated plastic part.

BENEFITS

  • Reduced part catalogue
  • Reduced assembly & tooling costs
  • Reduced complexity
  • High level of integration
  • Weight reduction

TYPE

Assembly to a single plastic part

Advanced materials

As vehicle designs and functional requirements become more advanced, so do the materials. New materials are being developed every day, with more than 100 different types and gradients of plastic used in the average vehicle. For added strength and stiffness, fibres are injected into plastic parts during the manufacturing process.

Composite materials offer significant reductions in mass without sacrificing function. Advanced materials can be grouped into four categories.

  • Advanced processes

    • Compression moulding
    • Overmoulding
    • Microcellular injection
  • Plastic resins

  • Short and long fibre materials

  • Continuous fibre composites

Controlling the orientation of reinforcing fibres during the manufacturing process affects the strength and resistance properties of the part. Capturing these “as-manufactured“ material properties is critical to performing accurate analysis.

Simulation

Advanced materials require simulation tools designed to address analysis requirements. These materials react differently to traditional materials, due to their construction. Autodesk offers products that can help you to address the simulation requirements for automotive lightweighting applications.

Optimise the manufacturing process

Reduce weight

Control part strength and stiffness

Predict performance in practice

Select the best material for your application

Discover issues early in the design process

Direct from the industry

Learn from executives at leading companies as they share insights about trends in automotive lightweighting, the benefits of using plastics and composite materials and the role of simulation.

  • photo of concept cars

    DUPONT

    Jeff Sternberg, Global Automotive Technology Director

    Jeff talks about taking a holistic approach to lightweighting by collaborating early in the design process with material suppliers, OEMs, part producers and technology providers.

    watch video
  • photo of concept cars

    TREXEL, INC

    Steve Braig, President & CEO

    Steve gives an overview MuCell technology and how it's being used for lightweighting initiatives.

    Watch video
  • photo of concept cars

    DOW AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS

    Allan James, Composites Marketing Manager

    Allan has spent the last 30 years working with DOW. He shares his insights on plastics and composite materials and the importance of simulation.

    Watch video
  • photo of concept cars

    CELANESE

    Jeff Helms, Global Automotive Manager

    Jeff discusses trends in lightweighting, plastics and composite materials, eliminating prototypes with simulation and the urgency to begin lightweighting efforts now.

    Watch video
  • photo of concept cars

    COMAU

    Martin Kinsella, Director of Advanced Materials & Process Technology

    Martin confirms the accelerating lightweighting trend from the perspective of Comau, a large automation company that frequently works at the assembly stage of the vehicle.

    Watch video

Download the white paper

Automotive Lightweighting – Everything Counts

Unlocking the opportunities with simulation

Gain a deeper understanding of automotive lightweighting trends, plastic and composite materials and the role simulation plays.

Conduct a Business Process Assessment

Let our Autodesk team of experts help you to identify software tools that can accurately simulate as-manufactured material properties and advanced materials, such as composites, to achieve your lightweighting goals.

We'll help you to create specific plans to get more from the investment and tools you already have and identify gaps you need to fill to improve your design and manufacturing practices.

SCHEDULE MY ASSESSMENT

Simulation products

Autodesk simulation software can help you to create accurate simulations for your lightweighting projects.

Moldflow

Optimise and validate your injection moulding process.

Helius PFA

Improve accuracy, efficiency and convergence of non-linear FEA solutions of composite structures.

Helius Composite

Predict the behaviour of composite materials, laminates and simple structures.