CAD & CAE tools in automotive plastic part design
H. Gaalman, DSM Polymers, Development Service Centre
The history of bumpers clearly illustrates the increasing interest of the automotive industry for polymeric materials. As a result of the production process, polymeric materials offer a great freedom of design to the automotive engineer. The possibility to integrate many functions or (metal) parts in one complex plastic part offers a potential for weight reduction and a higher degree of automation in car production. Together with recycling and passenger safety, reduction of weight and production costs belong to the major topics in today's automotive industry. The continuous development and improvement of polymeric materials play an important rol. In finding new solutions to problems related to these topics and have opened the way to applications where higher mechanical of thermal requirements have to be satisfied. The involvement of computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided engineering (CAE) in an early stage of the development of such and many other applications is a key factor for success.
In the Eureka sponsored project CARMAT for example the feasibility of polymeric materials for application in the front end and boot floor of the Citro