Cross-component Systematic Approach for Lightweight and Material-Oriented Design

Year: 2016
Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas
Author: Kaspar, Jerome; Vielhaber, Michael
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Institute of Engineering Design, Saarland University, Germany
Section: Product Architectures & Modularity
Page(s): 332-341
ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3


Apart from the emerging futuristic vision of a fourth industrial revolution – a collective term including among others Cyber-Physical-Systems, the Internet of Things&Services as well as Cloud Computing –, the issue of lightweight design is one of the most predominant innovation drivers and technology trends within the industrial product development. In addition, more and more complex systems with enormous requirements and conditions require load- and weight-optimized and equally multifunctional material structures for the nowadays demand on optimized material properties, innovative potentials in lightweight constructions as well as the corresponding energy and resource efficiency (sustainable product engineering). Nevertheless, lightweight and material oriented design is mainly still being used as an optimization task (e.g. material substitution) instead of an actual development target. Set against this background, and by taking into consideration that many new technologies (for instance multi-material construction techniques) have not yet or just inadequately been supported, there is an urgent need for a cross-component systematic approach within a lightweight and material oriented design process (LMOD).

The scientific literature, however, contains numerous approaches providing the link between the traditional product development process and an overall systematic approach to material selection [Ehrlenspiel&Kiewert1990; Fischer1995]. Thus, a general classification into four stages including individual operations can be made for the methodical procedure [Reuter2007]. A more detailed, computer-aided methodology, in particular for an initial rough through to a detailed selection, is developed by Ashby [Ashby2010]. With this unique technical approach it is possible to select a strategic material (e.g. strength- and/or stiffness-optimized towards density) for a specific component in consideration of possible chosen manufacturing processes.

Although this examination of the full material variety (early design-stage) leads to the few best suited engineering materials in the right place with an optimum of performance and costs, the essential lightweight aspect of functional interrelations between different system components is neglected. But precisely the wide-ranging joining technology represents a key position for the LMOD.

Due to this overarching research issue, the paper will focus on a cross-component approach considering the individual component connection based on a load-specific and function-integrated lightweight design for a further penetration of the LMOD.

Keywords: lightweight design, material selection, cross-component approach, consideration of joining technologies, function integration

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