LIVONIA, Mich. New
software to help vehicle designers quickly and accurately
evaluate material selection trade-offs, including mass, cost
and greenhouse gas emissions, has been developed by the Steel
Market Development Institute (SMDI) and WorldAutoSteel, the
automotive group of the World Steel Association.
Design Advisor was developed by
Don Malen of the University of Michigans College of
Engineering to assist automotive decision-makers in evaluating
and selecting the material that best fits the requirements of a
Material selection for
automotive components is complicated by several factors,
according to SMDI. Since material decisions for components
influence the entire vehicle, Design Advisor helps engineers
understand how material decisions affect numerous criteria,
including vehicle mass, cost, fuel economy and environmental
"Since these criteria are not
easily combined as a single objective number, the
decision-maker must be presented with potential effects on
mass, cost and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions so appropriate
trade-offs can be evaluated and selected," said Malen, who
discussed mass changes in vehicle design during the SMDIs
Great Designs in Steel seminar May 1 in Livonia, Mich.
The software provides
decision-makers with the ability to evaluate various materials
at a vehicle-system level early in the design cycle, Malen
said. The software is configured to operate with only the
information available in the vehicle planning stage.
The mathematical models used in the Design Advisor software
were drawn from the research and findings of several projects
supported by SMDI, the Auto/Steel Partnership, WorldAutoSteel
and U.S. Automotive Materials Partnership LLC.