18 May, 2024

Computer simulation engineering takes time and cost out of component development

30 October, 2015

At Fakuma 2015, DuPont Performance Polymers (DPP) showed how close its advanced anisotropic CAE modelling capabilities can predict the performance of automotive parts with a series of engine brackets made of DuPont Zytel polyamide resin. The structural engine brackets or mounts, which stabilise and align the engine, were developed in close collaboration with ElringKlinger and Daimler AG on an accelerated timeline, enabling a shorter development cycle compared to standard die-cast aluminium, and reduced cost.

Helps improve fuel efficiency, driving comfort and safety

Because the component has to support high static loads and engine torque stresses, the team turned to glass fibre reinforced, heat stabilized Zytel PA66 resin to replace metal. In addition to its ability to absorb noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), this optimised grade of Zytel nylon offered the right blend of strength, stiffness and resistance to creep, deformation and fatigue to stand up to load and stress. A further advantage is the low heat conductivity of Zytel versus metals, helping reduce ageing of the part and surrounding components.

Optimised FEA modelling

DuPont uses advanced micro-mechanical material modelling with Digimat to optimise the FEA modelling of glass reinforced materials, accurately analyse local changes in material properties and identify any structural weaknesses in the design. As a result, and as predicted by the shared data ahead of real part testing, the plastic engine brackets validated by Daimler AG can fully replace metal, offering superior noise damping, and positive effects on fuel efficiency, driving comfort and safety.

“Predictive capabilities have become part of our core competency in application development,” commented Patrick Cazuc, global automotive manager at DuPont Performance Polymers. “We have to be able to help validate design solutions to reduce cost and time to market.”

“It is essential to trust predictive CAE engineering to avoid unforeseen delays and failures during our engine development and test phases. DuPont has proven and demonstrated this capability during development of the engine bracket. There were no surprises between CAE modelling, part-, shaker- and road-testing, the part performed essentially as predicted. As a result, we were able to validate the part made of Zytel with full confidence of performance in use,” said Gernot Kurtzer, engineering manager at Daimler AG.

Leading global powertrain system and component supplier ElringKlinger played a key role in the project, working closely with Daimler AG and DuPont to optimize the design in plastic instead of metal, developing a mould to exploit the best characteristics of the Zytel polymer, designing the production and quality control processes, and carrying out early testing of such a critical part.

“One of the key advantages of working with DuPont was the unusual openness and transparency in sharing data and knowledge with us to ensure the best possible outcomes. We were able to apply the advanced material modelling work done in-house by DuPont to predict the behaviour of the plastic under injection moulding, and during crash testing of the part ahead of Daimler AG’s own tests. This enabled us to design a mould optimised for the material, design metal inserts that would contribute to the integrity of the component geometry, and also cut prototyping time.” said Klaus Bendl, global development manager at ElringKlinger AG.


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