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Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) for Metals: Using Multiscale Modeling to Invigorate Engineering Design with Science by Mark F. Horstemeyer

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7.1 INTRODUCTION

In the 1990s, the Partnership for New Generation Vehicles (PNGV) mandated that a mass-produced midsize automobile be developed in order to achieve greater gas mileage (80 mpg). This was motivated by the need to meet greater emission requirements and reduce reliance on foreign oil sources. To achieve this unprecedented milestone in an automobile, weight reduction was a main goal. One successful example involved reducing the weight of Cadillac control arms by 25% while maintaining their strength. If one could conceivably achieve the goal of 25% less weight, then the Cadillac could realize an increase of gas mileage to 75 mpg. The original control arm was steel; for the weight reduction project, it was suggested to cast the arm with an A356 aluminum alloy. In this case study, we analyzed the multiscale aspects of the A356 aluminum alloy in the context of the Cadillac control arm. The first half of this chapter is devoted to the multiscale aspects of fracture, and the second half is devoted to fatigue. In the Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) context, the A356 aluminum alloy was cast, but the multiscale modeling only considered the prototype performance for the redesign and optimization, not any casting simulations.

Different methods exist to manufacture cast A356 components, and each of the methods introduces a different level of casting porosity and microstructural fineness. The modeling effort described in this chapter was really the first of ...

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