The proposed Master Thesis is a part of the research project “Modelling crash behaviour in future lightweight composite vehicles” financially supported partly by Vinnova and partly by the industrial partners of the project Volvo Car Corporation, AB Volvo, Autoliv, Altair Engineering, DYNAmore Nordic, ÅF Industry AB, Semcon AB and Escenda Engineering AB (50%).
The master thesis will mainly be carried out at the CAE department at ÅF office in Göteborg. The work will be supervised by ÅF in cooperation with other partners. The examination is done by Applied Mechanics at Chalmers.
Summary of the research project “Modelling crash behaviour in future lightweight composite vehicles”
The project addresses key issues in Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) methods aimed for representative modelling of energy absorbing mechanisms in automotive structures made of advanced, in particular, carbon reinforced, polymer composites in the event of a crash. In fact, the proper crash simulation methodology is a prominent enabler of safe lightweight composite vehicle structures. The ultimate goal in a ten years perspective is to establish confidence in crash predictions of composite vehicles to a level comparable with current state of the art for conventional metallic structures. It is of outmost importance that the Swedish automotive industry properly takes on this issue with respect to future competitiveness in lightweight design.
To accomplish a robust and cost efficient simulation of crash in a composite structure, the project proposes four main work packages comprising research issues ranging from damage modeling at the ply-level to homogenization based modelling of the laminate behavior as well as dissemination and valorization of the results obtained.
Ten partners are involved where Chalmers – Applied Mechanics and Swerea SICOMP represent the academic and institute side, whereas Volvo Car Corporation and AB Volvo represent car and truck manufacturers, and Autoliv, Altair Engineering, DYNAmore Nordic, ÅF Industry AB, Semcon AB and Escenda Engineering AB represents FKG.
Focus in this thesis work is on benchmarking existing commercial CAE composites models (e.g. those of LS-Dyna and Abaqus) at different types of crash/impact loading situations. The results from this benchmarking is expected to be a highly relevant input both to the industrial and the academic partners of the project. In fact, crash simulation tools with a truly predictive capability is the most prominent enabler for the introduction of fibre reinforced polymer composites in structural automotive parts, thereby allowing for significant weight reduction at maintained or even improved crashworthiness. The industrial relevance is manifested by the substantial industrial interest in the current project. For the academic partners, the results from the thesis work will provide the necessary state-of-the-art input to two of the workpackages of the research project. The work consists of FE modeling and analysis, comparing computed crash results with existing test result, literature search and documentation.