New methods for assessing the durability of adhesive bonds introduced in nCode DesignLife™

Southfield, MI (February 2, 2012) - nCode, the leading brand of durability, test and analysis products offered by HBM, announced today that methods for assessing the durability of adhesive bonds in lightweight vehicle structures will be introduced in version 8 of nCode DesignLife™ available February 2012.

Reducing the weight of vehicles is one of the most critical factors in improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For example, studies often show a weight reduction of 10% from a vehicle can result in a 6-8% reduction in fuel consumption.

Adhesive bonding is increasingly used in the development of lightweight vehicle bodies. In addition to improving structural rigidity, it provides a means of joining high strength steels, aluminum alloys and dissimilar materials, with good durability against fatigue compared to more traditional methods such as spot-welding and seam-welding.

“Effective use of adhesive bonding in automotive vehicle bodies requires analytical methods for durability so that potential fatigue problems and unnecessary overdesign can be eliminated before the physical prototype stage,” said Dr. Peter Heyes, Principal Fatigue Specialist at HBM-nCode. “This new capability provides a means to help drive down the cost and weight of next generation vehicles by identifying which joints in the vehicle structure are most critically loaded up-front in the design process.”

nCode DesignLife 8 uses a fracture mechanics-based method requiring relatively minor modifications to a typical vehicle body finite element model. The theoretical basis of the method was developed as part of a project conducted by the Volvo Group and the testing and software implementation was carried out as part of the “Bonded Car” collaborative research project, the partners being Jaguar Land Rover, Coventry University, Warwick University, Innoval Technology, Henrob and Stoke Golding Applied Research. The project was co-funded by the Collaborative Research and Development programme of the Technology Strategy Board. The Technology Strategy Board is an executive non-departmental public body, established by the United Kingdom government in 2007 and sponsored by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

A paper on this implementation, “A fracture mechanics approach to durability calculations for adhesive joints” will be presented at the SAE 2012 World Congress being held in Detroit, MI USA, April 24-26, 2012. A free webinar demonstrating this new capability will be presented on Thursday, February 23, 2012. For more information, see Videos.

Validation of the new adhesive joints method in nCode DesignLife was conducted with the testing of a number of Jaguar XJ "Body-in-White“ using variable amplitude