The Numerical Prediction of the Dent Resistance of Aluminum Structural Panel Assemblies
An examination of static and dynamic dent resistance of structural panel assemblies representing automotive hoods is described in this thesis. Fabricated panel assemblies incorporating typical components of real automotive parts were tested. The panel assemblies included an AA5754 inner panel using an array of teacup supports and an AA6111 closure panel joined with automotive mastic. The assemblies allowed for parametric assessment of numerous factors affecting dent resistance including: panel thickness, panel curvature, panel support configuration and dent site location. An extensive experimental program evaluated various panel combinations under both static and dynamic denting conditions. The measured results illustrate various trends of the different factors affecting dent resistance. The experimental database allows a qualitative assessment of dent resistance for full-scale automotive parts. The importance of support conditions is highlighted. The influence of mastic thickness is found to be a critical consideration. Numerical simulations of the dent test were undertaken using finite element techniques. The numerical predictions offer varying degrees of accuracy. The quantitative results are limited, due to numerical concerns, but the qualitative trends are generally well captured. As well, the relative importance of the various parametric factors is well represented in the numerical results. The interaction of the components at the teacup supports proved to critical to the predictive ability of the models. The method developed to model the interaction was somewhat limited by the available material models within the numerical code used, but offers promise for improved results in future simulations. The modelling method is readily transferred to full-scale automotive panels for assessment of dent resistance early in the design cycle.