Design Tool for Material Comparison in Automotive ApplicationsSeptember 3, 2013
WorldAutoSteel, along with the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, Detroit, MI, has unveiled new software that enables vehicle designers to quickly and accurately evaluate material-selection tradeoffs, including mass, cost and greenhouse-gas emissions, for automotive applications. Dubbed Design Advisor, the software, developed by Dr. Don Malen of the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, assists automotive decisionmakers in evaluating and selecting the material that best fits the requirements of a given application.
Design Advisor helps an engineer understand how material decisions affect numerous criteria, including vehicle mass, cost, fuel economy and environmental impact. “Since these criteria are not easily combined as a single objective number,” says Dr. Malen, “the decisionmaker must be presented with potential effects on mass, cost and emissions so appropriate tradeoffs can be evaluated and selected. Design Advisor provides decisionmakers with the ability to evaluate various materials at a vehicle system level.”
Since material decisions often are made early in the vehicle design cycle, the software is configured to operate with only the information available in the vehicle planning stage. The mathematical models used in Design Advisor draw from the research and findings of several projects supported by SMDI, the Auto/Steel Partnership, WorldAutoSteel and United States Automotive Materials Partnership LLC. Along with a complete version of the Design Advisor software, decisionmakers can download a user guide and case-study examples demonstrating the software’s functionality and use.
Learn more by visiting www.worldautosteel.org/projects/design-advisor.
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