Steel design tool compares material trade-offs in automotive applications

Design Advisor software allows engineers to compare the mass, cost and emissions impact of various automotive materials.

Comments Off on Steel design tool compares material trade-offs in automotive applications May 1, 2013
by Design Engineering Staff

WorldAutoSteel and the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, released Design Advisor, a software tool that helps vehicle designers evaluate material trade-offs, including vehicle mass, cost, fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, for automotive applications.

“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 emissions so appropriate tradeoffs can be evaluated and selected,” said the software’s developer, Dr. Don Malen of the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. “The Design Advisor software provides decision makers with the ability to evaluate various materials at a vehicle system level.”

The software – an MS Excel spreadsheet with macros — is configured to work with only the information available in the vehicle planning stage. The mathematical models used in Design Advisor draw from the research and findings of several projects supported by SMDI, the Auto/Steel Partnership, WorldAutoSteel and United States Automotive Materials Partnership LLC.

Along with a complete version of the Design Advisor spreadsheet, engineers can also download a user guide and case study examples.