Karjol, A. and Virmalwar, A., "Optimization of Sheet Metal Bracket by Use of Thermoplastics," SAE Technical Paper 2016-28-0224, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-28-0224.
Reducing overall weight of the vehicle is one of the main areas of research in automotive industries. Current trend, CO2 reduction, is a major incentive for this process. For this, engineers are finding out various ways to reduce weight to strength ratio of the different components. The immediate pay-off of such developments is lower fuel consumption, which is followed by lower CO2 emissions. For this engineers opt for, use of low-density and high-strength materials, along with optimization of the geometry of the components. One of the solutions is to convert metal parts to plastics which have desired properties.The main focus of this paper is to convert the sheet metal brackets to plastic brackets which will ultimately reduce weight and production cost associated with automobile. In this paper, an optimum process, using Topology optimization and Mold Flow Analysis, is developed to convert sheet metal bracket to plastic bracket. To illustrate the new process, as a case study, brackets which hold electrical modules in premium cars are selected. The brackets under consideration are mounted on BIW (Body-In-White) of the car which are traditionally made up of sheet metal. Using this process, few proposals are created with different thermoplastic materials and verified for Durability and NVH loadcases. Comparison is made between these proposals in terms of strength, stiffness, percentage weight reduction and cost.