Corus, the international steel company, has developed a new computer aided engineering (CAE) approach to weld durability and performance assessment, which it believes will help automakers optimise component design and weld performance in vehicle structures.
Corus also says that the unique software tool will help OEMs reduce new vehicle development time and costs in addition to reducing component costs.
Automakers today are under growing pressure to bring new cars to market faster and are increasingly using Computer-Aided Engineering in almost all areas of the development process and car design. However, until now, CAE has not been widely used in the area of weld performance and durability assessment.
‘Historically, the ability to assess how a weld performs on a vehicle structure has posed particular challenges. Existing durability tests are very time consuming and can lead to development delays and sometimes less than optimum designs of components,’ said Nick Busby, Commercial Manager, Automotive, Corus Strip Products UK.
The challenge for Corus was to develop a technique that could automate the complex task of generating an optimum weld pattern for a given vehicle component at the lowest welding cost whilst still meeting all manufacturing and performance targets. In addition, to be successful, the CAE tool needed to be able to manage, assess and analyse multiple variables of weld patterns all in one single routine, thereby allowing engineers to quickly optimise the design for durability.
‘To develop the new CAE tool, Corus Automotive Engineering, based at Warwick University, and the company’s Research, Development and Technology (RD&T) operation based in IJmuiden, Holland, relied upon the company’s materials expertise and a core knowledge in vehicle structural performance,’ added Jon King, Director Corus Automotive Engineering.
‘The approach has resulted in a new automated process that will significantly speed up weld design modification and optimisation leading to improved component performance and ultimately offering our OEM customers the ability to reduce vehicle development time and costs,’ concluded Busby.