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Title: Weight reduction in automotive structural components : an investigation into the torsional properties of steel box sections and T-joints
Author: Pine, T.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1998
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Weight reduction of the automotive structure can be enhanced by using continuous joining techniques as a means of assembly. Continuous joints increase structural rigidity and thereby overcome the loss in stiffness associated with the higher strength but thinner steels proposed for use by the automotive industry. The comparison of continuously joined structures with conventionally joined (spot welded) structures will help to determine the potential weight reduction of the automotive structure. The effects of joining technique, sheet thickness, steel strength, section area, section design and level of end constraint on the torsional properties of box sections were determined experimentally using factorial design techniques. The joining techniques investigated included adhesive bonding, weldbonding, laser welding and spot welding. Finite element models were developed using ANSYS and ABAQUS and were used to extend the scope of the test programme. T-joints, comprised of two box sections jointed at right angles, were tested experimentally using factorial design techniques, and were also analysed numerically. Joining technique, sheet thickness and section area had the most influence on box section torsional stiffness. A 44% and 10% weight reduction was estimated through downgauging and area reduction, respectively, in conjunction with the substitution of spot welding with adhesive bonding. Joint eccentricity was also identified as a factor which influenced the torsional stiffness of box sections and could also be related to weight reduction. The effect of joint eccentricity at the connection of T-joints was shown to have a major effect on the torsional stiffness and strength of T-joints. A numerical comparison between a T shaped component from a BIW with a regular T-joint was conducted. The results confirmed the validity of using simplified test pieces to represent more complex components.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Eng.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available