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Multi-scale Material Parameter Identification using LS-OPT

Ever-tightening regulations on fuel economy and carbon emissions demand continual innovation in finding ways for reducing vehicle mass. Classical methods for computational mass reduction include sizing, shape and topology optimization. One of the few remaining options for weight reduction can be found in materials engineering and material design optimization. Apart from considering different types of materials by adding material diversity, an appealing option in automotive design is to engineer steel alloys for the purpose of reducing thickness while retaining sufficient strength and ductility required for durability and safety. Such a project was proposed and is currently being executed under the auspices of the United States Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) funded by the Department of Energy. Under this program, new steel alloys (Third Generation Advanced High Strength Steel or 3GAHSS) are being designed, tested and integrated with the remaining design variables of a benchmark vehicle Finite Element model. In this project the principal phases identified are (i) material identification, (ii) formability optimization and (iii) multi-disciplinary vehicle optimization. This paper serves as an introduction to the LS-OPT methodology and therefore mainly focuses on the first phase, namely an approach to integrate material identification using material models of different length scales. For this purpose, a multi-scale material identification strategy, consisting of a Crystal Plasticity (CP) material model and a Homogenized State Variable (SV) model, is discussed and demonstrated. The paper concludes with proposals for integrating the multi-scale methodology into the overall vehicle design.