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Engineering Materials

Slideshow: Optimizing the Design of Cars & Planes

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jmiller
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Re: Mainstream simulation and optimization
jmiller   11/16/2013 4:59:30 PM
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I find that fascinating as well.  Not only can simulations help us optimize the current design by making it lighter, stronger and more efficienct.  Simluations can also help to come up with different and new ways to accomplish the same final outcome or design function in a different and more economical way.

Charles Murray
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Re: Calibrating simulation results with actual test data
Charles Murray   10/28/2013 5:59:41 PM
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No doubt about it, Greg, calibration to real life data is the key to having confidence in a design.  

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Composites
Ann R. Thryft   10/28/2013 1:03:55 PM
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Tool_maker, there are downsides: expense and slow layup/curing speeds are the main ones, especially for the high-volume, automated, auto manufacturing environment. And to some lesser extent for commercial aircraft. We've covered this many times. Stay tuned: this Thursday we'll publish a slideshow giving an update on automotive carbon composites with info from one of the biggest players. Re raw materials, it's not so much them as it is getting a good source of carbon fiber that can be problematic, especially in volumes for millions of cars. As far as I know, the only environmental/health issues are the basic ones we already know about for the constituent materials, mostly the plastics.

Tool_maker
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Composites
Tool_maker   10/28/2013 12:48:21 PM
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@Ann: Very interesting slide show and article. Is there a downside to bulding with composites? I have such limited experience with them, other than  boats and fishing rods, that I feel a fear of the unknown when people talk about building airplanes from them. Are the raw materials in a plentiful supply? Are they recycleable? Are they something that 20 years from now we are going to find thousands of health issues from the people who worked with the manufacture of composites like we get now from people who used asbestos 20-30 years ago?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Mainstream simulation and optimization
Ann R. Thryft   10/28/2013 12:36:53 PM
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I agree. And it makes total sense to me that some of the amazing advances in cars, planes and other vehicles was not only assisted by, but actually enabled by, simulation and optimization. In particular, the optimization part becomes a necessity when a materials change is instigated, because it's not just changing steel or aluminum to carbon fiber: a lot of other things have to change in the design of the component, and thus of the entire structure.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Mainstream simulation and optimization
Ann R. Thryft   10/28/2013 12:32:51 PM
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Thanks, Chuck. I think GM Powertrain's Sivakumar said it rather succinctly. At least in some areas, like engines, there's still a lot of physical testing. But simulation does seem to be at least half of the testing going on in many applications.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Mainstream simulation and optimization
Ann R. Thryft   10/28/2013 12:29:38 PM
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Well put, TJ!

a.saji
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Re: Calibrating simulation results with actual test data
a.saji   10/28/2013 12:38:46 AM
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@Greg: True that things are improving rapidly and that is a good sign indeed but it should be cost effective as well. Im not sure that the later part is being considered in many cases   

Greg M. Jung
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Calibrating simulation results with actual test data
Greg M. Jung   10/27/2013 4:09:18 PM
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I'm sure that everyone is also thinking about the importance of calibrating the simulation results with actual test data.  To truly have confidence with our simulations, adequate test time and money must also be allocated to verify that these computer predictions match real world behavior.

jmiller
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Re: Mainstream simulation and optimization
jmiller   10/27/2013 9:17:56 AM
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I think it's applications like planes, trains, and automobiles where technology like this can prove extremely profitable.  When I think about the amount of money they are talking about saving with planes and trains I think about my experience with the trucking industry where saving a few pounds on a truck can be a big deal.

 

Of course, when it comes to tractors or larger equipment a simulation might show all kinds of cost savings by going lighter, when a real world test shows you want the weight in order to be able to get the job done in the field.

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