In recent years the automotive industry started a remarkable transformation from internal combustion engine (ICE) propelled vehicles towards alternative drive systems. While hybrid vehicles (PHEV) are criticized for the fact, that their CO2 footprint strongly depends on the right usage, the drive systems of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) for passenger cars are not fully developed and hence not available broadly yet. Therefore, the dominating concept at present is clearly seen in battery electric vehicles (BEV). These novel and challenging developments not only require more sophisticated design concepts for packaging all the new electrical parts of the propulsion system, but also the ever-increasing requirements for lightweight design and crashworthiness regulations dictate sophisticated approaches in virtual vehicle design. Hence, synchronous with these advanced propulsion systems, novel structural concepts need to be developed.
While high strength steel sheet metal is used for some decades, a clear, high-volume trend has been observed in the use of aluminium either applied as sheets, cast parts or extruded profiles. Here numerical challenges are posed by new, sophisticated spatial discretizations driven by increased structural complexity that clearly requires 3-dimensional representation in every aspect. Furthermore, these challenges also incorporate new and typically more complex constitutive models for materials, that nobody would have put into cars before, and end in digital process chains, that must be able to represent the complete production process. Obviously, all relevant aspects of physics must be captured along the process chain to achieve predictive simulations for all disciplines from process simulation to passive safety and crashworthiness.
The present talk will demonstrate several development directions that were addressed in recent years. Novel approaches in spatial discretization, such as 3D shell elements as well as isogeometric analysis (IGA) for shell and solid structures will be introduced. New constitutive models for sheet metal forming simulations, that are for instance capable of predicting complex thermal driven phase change scenarios, and respective parameter identification via innovative characterization methods will be discussed. Finally, the interconnection of individual simulation tasks, capturing complex constitutive behavior along the production chain, will be shown in detail. The work will be illustrated by examples and concise conclusions for everyday work will be given.