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Author Archives: Tony Norton

NOV

07

2012

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avatar Category: Automotive

The Challenge of Crashworthiness for Composite Cars

, Vice President, Marketing at solidThinking

This post was taken from Altair Enlighten and contributed by my colleague, Giuseppe Resta, Manager, Global Automotive at Altair Engineering.

It doesn’t seem so long ago that passenger safety and vehicle crashworthiness were the battleground where automakers differentiated their products. Now, as many OEMs have created product development systems that rely on a CAE-driven strategy to deliver excellent passive safety performance, it appears to have taken a backseat to miles-per-gallon. Almost every car commercial touts greater fuel efficiency and seeks to validate the manufacturer’s environmental credentials.

Both safety and gas mileage advances have been pushed by regulation and pulled by consumer demand. Now that the United States has set the 54.5 mpg Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standard for 2025 and lower CO2 emissions have been mandated in Europe, we are entering a new era of increased challenge that could lead to significant change in the way cars are designed and constructed. OEMs and suppliers are reviewing every component and considering the technologies available to meet these new demanding standards, including investment in engineered plastic and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) that offer high stiffness-to-weight and strength-to-weight ratios.

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SEP

19

2012

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Category: Automotive

Engineered Plastics?

, Vice President, Marketing at solidThinking

I was chatting recently with fellow Altair blogger Bob Yancey about the use of the word composites. Yancey will often write about the application of high-end laminate constructions for aerospace applications. While this is a similar type of composite to those used by our racecar customers, such as Dallara, most automotive composites are perhaps better described as engineered plastics. The engineered part of that name is important, as not all plastics are composites; that soda bottle you drank from earlier was just plastic.

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SEP

04

2012

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Category: Automotive

Safety Fast

, Vice President, Marketing at solidThinking

An old MG advertising slogan that dates back around 80 years, “Safety Fast,” can very well be applied to the work that Advanced Design Engineering Systems Solutions AG (ADESS) has performed for another storied British sports car marque, LOTUS. ADESS used Altair’s HyperWorks Suite in the development of the LMP2 LOTUS T128 car, primarily to perform virtual crash tests of the front structure. Read More


AUG

29

2012

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Category: Automotive

Small Overlap, Big Challenge

, Vice President, Marketing at solidThinking

My colleague, Giuseppe Resta, Manager, Global Automotive at Altair Engineering submitted the following blog post.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just released its first results for its new small overlap frontal crash test. Despite the fact that the initial test group consisted of mid-sized luxury and near-luxury sedans, equipped with some of the best safety features available, only three of 11 achieved a good or acceptable rating.  In the test (commonly called SORB, Small Overlap Rigid Barrier), just 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the driver side impacts a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph.  It mimics an impact with a pole, tree or another vehicle that, according to the IIHS, as of 2009 represented a quarter of the frontal crashes resulting fatal or serious injury to front occupants. Read More


AUG

22

2012

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Category: Automotive,Lightweight Design

Disruptive Innovation?

, Vice President, Marketing at solidThinking

The National Petroleum Council (a panel advising the US Energy Department) has just published a future fuels report stating that the internal combustion will remain the dominant power source for cars until at least 2050. The study says it will take a future “disruptive innovation” to replace the internal-combustion engine.

Last month, perhaps we saw a glimpse into the future as the University of Michigan Solar Car Team (UMSCT) won their 7th National Championship – this time by the largest margin of victory in the history of the American Solar Challenge. Read More

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