Jasurda, D., "Accounting for Thermal and Gravity Force Effects on Automotive Components Using 3D Simulation Software," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-1313, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-1313.
The effects of thermal expansion and gravity on assembly processes in automotive manufacturing can and often do cause unexpected variation. Not only do these effects cause assembly issues, they can also create non-conformance and warranty problems later in the product lifecycle. Using 3D CAD models, advances in simulation allow engineers to design out these influences through a combination of tooling, process and tolerance changes to reduce costs.This whitepaper examines the process of simulating the effect of both thermal expansion and gravity on automotive structures. Using real life examples, a number of solutions were determined and tested in a simulated environment to reduce product variation and account for unavoidable environmental variation.