An automotive supplier was looking to reduce costs and improve product quality by using plastics instead of metals. To do so, they needed to predict the ultimate load of short fiber reinforced plastic (SFRP) parts while considering anisotropy due to the fiber orientation.
In order to optimize the structural performance of their product made with short fiber reinforced plastics, they used Moldflow to predict the fiber orientation. They then used Digimat in conjunction with with Marc and Moldflow to evaluate nonlinear response under service conditions affected by variable stiffness and strength with respect to the fiber orientation. The technology enabled the customer to modify molding conditions such as gate systems and material parameters, including fiber content, to achieve a high performance part.
Each physical testing of the part was expected to cost $4 million, with 3 tests conducted each year for each part. The software reduced testing costs by up to $12 million per part.