A Decision-Making Approach for Material Selection of Polymeric Composite Bumper Beam

A Decision-Making Approach for Material Selection of Polymeric Composite Bumper Beam

Divya Zindani (National Institute of Technology Silchar, India), Saikat Ranjan Maity (National Institute of Technology Silchar, India) and Sumit Bhowmik (National Institute of Technology Silchar, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5216-1.ch006


Selection of material is a crucial part of the voyage of obtaining the optimal product. The task is challenging for the designer who has to select the optimal material from a list of thousands of materials that satisfy the tangible and intangible criteria. The problem of identification of the optimum material can be solved using different MCDM (multi-criteria decision-making) tools. This chapter proposes to select the optimal material for polymeric composite bumper beam using TODIM (tomada de decisao interativa multicriterio, which means in Portuguese “interactive and multi-criteria decision-making”) method. Six different composite materials were considered. Glass fiber epoxy turns out to be the optimal material for the bumper beam. Further, finite element analysis was carried out to study the behavior of the candidate materials under specific loading conditions.
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Bumper system is one of the most important components of a vehicle. This is because in case of any accident it is the bumper system which absorbs the energy of the impact. To a great extent, it protects the passengers since it is the first to accept the collision. The bumper system comprises of three main components: energy absorber, fascia, and the bumper beam.

However, in the past decade the role of design engineers has been to produce the vehicular model that has the minimum weight. Materials often play a crucial role in achieving this objective. A number of polymeric composites are now in use to manufacture bumper beam.

Selection of a suitable material for the bumper beam is crucial as a poor material can lead to damage and failure of the bumper beam. A large number of parameters must be considered in making an optimal selection. Thus, one of the difficult tasks that a design engineer faces is with the selection of an optimal material from a vast list of materials, with new materials being added to the list, under the consideration of conflicting tangible and non-tangible criteria.

The development of MCDM (Multi-Criteria Decision Making) tools has made the task a tad easier for the design engineers. Some of the prominent MCDM tools used in the automotive material selection include VIKOR, Artificial Neural Network, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), Fuzzy Logic, etc. However, as far as material selection of bumper beam is concerned, the reports on MCDM tools are scarce.

The present work proposes to select polymeric composites for the bumper beam, using an MCDM tool in the form of TODIM and relatively simple to implement in comparison to the other reported MCDM tools. The polymeric composites make the list of alternatives for selection of optimal material for the bumper beam. Further, FEM analysis was carried out with the candidate materials to study their behavior under specific loading conditions.

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