Finite Element Analysis of Sheet Metal Assemblies : Prediction of Product Performance Considering the Manufacturing Process

Abstract: This thesis concerns the development of methodologies to be used to simulate complete manufacturing chains of sheet components and the study of how different mechanical properties propagate and influence succeeding component performance.Since sheet metal assemblies are a major constituent of a wide range of products it is vital to develop methodologies that enable detailed evaluation of assembly designs and manufacturing processes. The manufacturing process influences several key aspects of a sheet metal assembly, aspects such as shape fulfilment, variation and risk of material failure.Developments in computer-aided engineering and computational resources have made simulation-based process and product development efficient and useful since it allows for detailed, rapid evaluation of the capabilities and qualities of both process and product. Simulations of individual manufacturing processes are useful, but greater benefits can be gained by studying the complete sequence of a product's manufacturing processes. This enables evaluation of the entire manufacturing process chain, as well as the final product. Moreover, the accuracy of each individual manufacturing process simulation is improved by establishing appropriate initial conditions, including inherited material properties.In this thesis, a methodology of sequentially simulating each step in the manufacturing process of a sheet metal assembly is presented. The methodology is thoroughly studied using different application examples with experimental validation. The importance of information transfer between all simulation steps is also studied. Furthermore, the methodology is used as the foundation of a new approach to investigate the variation of mechanical properties in a sheet metal assembly. The multi-stage manufacturing process of the assembly is segmented, and stochastic analyses of each stage is performed and coupled to the succeeding stage in order to predict the assembly's final variation in properties.Two additional studies are presented where the methodology of chaining manufacturing processes is utilised. The influence of the dual phase microstructure on non-linear strain recovery is investigated using a micromechanical approach that considers the annealing process chain. It is vital to understand the non-linear strain recovery in order to improve springback prediction. In addition, the prediction of fracture in a dual phase steel subjected to non-linear straining is studied by simulating the manufacturing chain and subsequent stretch test of a sheet metal component.