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Emerging Applications of Additive Manufacturing in the Automotive Sector

Ryan Hahnlen, Ph.D.

Honda R&D Americas, Inc.


Automotive companies are faced with many manufacturing challenges surrounding vehicle lightweighting, electrification, and an influx of new materials to meet the fuel economy requirements imposed by regulatory and consumer demands. These challenges often conflict with the capabilities of existing factories, representing millions, if not billions, of dollars in capital investments focused on producing vehicles using legacy materials and processes. While greenfield manufacturing is able to accommodate the materials and processes of today while preparing for those of tomorrow, most factory investment consists of incremental improvements to existing facilities, resulting in a slower pace of new material and process adoption and limiting the potential benefit of new technologies. However, new opportunities are presented with the maturing and evolving of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology. This talk will discuss the current challenges of AM as well as highlight new paradigms for utilizing this technology to improve vehicle performance, decrease vehicle weight, integrate new materials, and reduce costs associated with production all while integrating with the current infrastructure of existing factories.



Professor Stephen R Niezgoda


The Ohio State University


Short Abstract: The current approach for qualification of new materials and
manufacturing processes is both expensive and time consuming. It involves an iterative cycle of prototype construction and testing that requires years of expensive design evaluation. One strategy for reducing the burden of inserting new materials and processes is the adoption of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME), which is predicated on replacing expensive experimentation with modeling and simulation. The critical question with ICME adoption is “How do we develop sufficient statistical confidence in a simulation based design with only limited experimental validation?”

In this talk the opportunities and challenges of integrating mesoscale modeling and simulation into ICME are explored. Specifically recent advances related to i) Physics-based microstructure and mesoscale constitutive theory, ii) Computationally efficient numerical solvers for meso-mechanical constitutive models, iii) Rigorous methodologies for model verification and validation (V&V) coupled with uncertainty quantification (UQ), and iv) Advanced characterization techniques to quantify the mesoscale mechanical response of the material and the associated evolution of microstructure will be presented and put in context of the needs of ICME adoption.