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Computer-Simulated Estimation of the Fatigue Behavior and Stiffness of Spot Joints in Automotive Structures
Published September 30, 1997 by Automotive Technology Group, Inc. in United States
The stiffness and the fatigue behavior of lightweight vehicle body structures is greatly influenced by the properties of its joints. The joining technology used, the number and location of the spot joints are of increasing importance both for engineers and cost accounts.
This paper presents a new computer simulation concept for estimating the stiffness and fatigue behavior of thin-walled structures which may incorporate any type of spot joints, e.g., welded, riveted or clinched joints. Independent of the mesh size of the FE model as a whole, a new automatic mesh generation is carried out in the circular area surrounding the spot joints. The result is a circular element arrangement, with a diameter range equal to that of the joint under consideration. During the automatic generation of the new mesh, the local stiffness of the structure can be adapted to the properties of the joint in question. These constant FE-mesh conditions, in combination with structural stress S/N curves, determined by tests with specific specimens, are the basis for a consistent quality of the element stresses.