A visualization methodology for evaluating parts made of short fiber reinforced thermoplastics regarding their lightweight potential
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Gruber, Georg; Kößler, Johannes; Wartzack, Sandro
Institution: Chair of Engineering Design, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Injection molded, short fiber reinforced thermoplastics are a promising lightweight material. However, the component design is getting complex with this type of material due to the process induced fiber orientation. To achieve substantial progress in lightweight design, the resulting anisotropic material properties have to be taken advantage of effectively. The most important correcting variables influencing the fiber orientation are the partâs geometry and the gate design (position and type of gates). The goal of the present paper is introducing a new evaluation method, supporting the product developer at detecting the most appropriate geometry and gate layout. The basic idea behind the new approach is examining the deviations between the load path and the fiber orientation pattern. With the help of new quality criteria it can be rated to which extent load path and fiber orientation are in harmony. The methodology is implemented as a software tool, delivering a mean quality criterion per part as well as a contour plot enabling also the analysis of the local distribution of the focused quality criterion. The potential of the new approach is demonstrated within a brief case study.