ACP Process Applied in the Future Steel Vehicle Program
The shapes and configurations of nature are wildly complicated, non-intuitive and completely amazing. The shapes and forms found in nature in the structure of a tree, a human skeleton, insects and animals are truly the most efficient designs imaginable. By mimicking the flawless balance between structure and strength of nature's most efficient shapes, engineers can learn how to incorporate similar balance to product structural design for automobiles, aircraft and other systems.
The Accelerated Concept to Product (ACP) Process® is ETA's proprietary methodology which enables the structure of a product, such as the vehicle's body-in-white, to mimic "Nature's Way". Doing so creates the ultimate design efficiency, where structure and strength are perfectly balanced for the intended function.
The final design of the Future Steel vehicle (FSV) Program has been completed and the results were announced at the 12th Annual Great Designs in Steel Conference in May.
During the final phase, FSV achieved 39% mass reduction and the new mass target was achieved in the design upon completion of the final optimization tasks, concluding the program.
The ACP Process enabled significant mass reduction results and included 3G (the balance of geometry, gage and grade), 2G and 1G optimization effects. Over the three phases of the program, an improving FSV mass reduction evolution was achieved.
During the project, optimization, from vehicle baseline to detailing the steel body structure concepts, allowed the vehicles to meet aggressive mass targets of 177.6 kg, while meeting 2015-2020 crash performance objectives and total life cycle Greenhouse Gas emissions targets. FSV's steel portfolio, including over 20 different AHSS grades representing materials expected to be commercially available in the 2015 - 2020 technology horizon, was utilized during the material selection process, while full vehicle analysis was used to determine material grade and thickness optimization. Achievement of such aggressive weight reduction with steel will set a new standard for vehicle design approaches for the future.