Lighter, Stronger, Quieter Vehicles - New Design Space Workflow for Structural Inserts at Sika
About the Customer
Sika is a global specialty chemicals company that develops and produces innovative solutions for the construction and industrial sectors. With more than 100 years of experience in the industry, Sika is a trusted partner for customers around the world.
The company offers a wide range of products and systems for the construction industry, including concrete admixtures, sealants, adhesives, flooring and coating systems, and waterproofing solutions. Sika's solutions are designed to improve the durability, aesthetics, and sustainability of buildings and infrastructure.
Lightweighting is becoming more business critical for all industries, and that holds true for Sika. When it comes to NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) behavior, predicting the performance of these parts while reducing mass has been a major challenge within the automotive industry.
Based on their broad experience with reinforcement parts for NVH topics, Sika has developed a standard process including an analysis of the BIW (body-in-white) with full volumes to detect sensitivities. Based on those results, the company usually develops a first iteration and then optimizes the weight and design. This step usually takes many variations to find the right balance with maximum performance at lowest weight is developed.
To gain a deeper understanding about where it is best to put material in the BIW, the team uses Altair® OptiStruct® for structural and NVH analyses in their workflow. Sika was very happy with the results, but its engineers were striving for even more improvements.
To quicken the development process, the simulation experts suggested Altair’s design space workflow, a simple solution for design space creation for topology optimization which is integrated in Altair® HyperWorks®.
In this specific case, Sika wanted to study a D-pillar upper part. Adhering to their traditional workflow, it takes up to 3 hours to create surfaces and edit them to create closed volumes (tetra mesh) until the simulation can be run.
Conversely, using Altair’s design space workflow, the engineers defined the design space, then created a voxel mesh and modified the intersection. The time they saved using this new workflow is considerable: It takes the engineering team less than 40 minutes until the cavity is ready for simulation. Based on the new process, the engineer gained important insights that helped them decide where to place the first ribbed concept.
Using the Altair design space workflow, the Sika engineers eliminated time-consuming steps
in their workflow and generated results more efficiently, which let them make faster decisions regarding potential reinforcer locations in the BIW. Instead of hours, Sika achieved the required results within minutes.
Since modeling time was reduced by 70%, the team can spend more time gaining a deeper knowledge of the part and on engineering to run more iterations to improve it further. Thanks to the saved time, Sika could efficiently develop BIW parts and integrate these into the various working environments with the customer. Not only did Sika benefit from the Altair team’s simulation expertise, it also benefitted from the constructive collaboration, which optimized the application of Altair’s software solutions.
TOP: Adhering to the traditional
workflow, the model preparation
took Sika engineers up to three hours.
MIDDLE: Using the Altair design
space workflow the engineers realized significant time savings.
Example of a D-upper NVH reinforcer