University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. Marko Knezevic, Department of Mechanical Engineering
An Investigation Into The Amount Of Springback From A B-Pillar Beam With Varying Steel Microstructure
The materials used for automotive bodies have an immense impact on the performance of automobiles. As a result of this, researchers and engineers are always attempting to find the material with the best compromise of mechanical and physical properties as well as cost and time involved for development of materials, especially for body parts as they contribute significantly to vehicle weight and fuel consumption. This research focuses on the optimization of a b-pillar part for automotive vehicles. B-pillars are usually made of steel with relatively uniform mechanical properties throughout. The b-pillars are made using sheet metal forming. A common phenomenon that occurs in metal sheet forming is springback. In this research, the geometry of die to accommodate for springback with varying gradient of steel microstructure in the b-pillar will be evaluated. An investigation will be made into whether a b-pillar made of a gradient of steel ranging from austenite to ferrite will produce less springback in metal sheet forming and a desired tradeoff between strength and ductility from top to bottom of the part. The bottom must be ductile to accommodate energy during an impact, while the top must be strong. This objectives will be accomplished using modeling and simulations with the Abaqus software. The result of this effort will be in the creation of a system that accommodates for the die geometry of a springback. It will be a computational framework that can be utilized in the industry when accounting for springback and materials design in metal sheet forming.