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Virtual dust for faster development

Bamberg/Germany, 08-06-2019

Brose products must withstand a variety of environmental influences and function reliably over their entire service life. Our developers use advanced methods to test whether these requirements are met – like exposing latches to real dust. Brose developed a simulation method that largely replaces real tests.

Pay for dust? It sounds absurd because this is one thing we could all do without. But our developers need special mixtures like aggressive Arizona dust, which they use to test how new products behave under its influence. After all, vehicles are constantly exposed to dust particles and in extreme cases dust can make latches stiff or block them. To ensure that this does not happen, products are tested in a dust chamber during each phase of development. If the functioning is impaired, the design has to be modified – and a new round of tests is needed.

More efficient predictions using computers: Martin Tupy (Advanced Development) shows what the new simulation methods can do.

New simulation methods

“This new method for closure systems accelerates product development and cuts costs by enabling Brose experts to identify and eliminate dust-related weaknesses virtually. The real test with functional models that follows then mainly serves to verify the known results.

The advantages of virtual analysis are clear: developers can follow what happens inside the latch at any time during a test, which would be impossible in real trials. Basic rules for designing dust-resistant latches can be developed on the basis of these findings. In this way, protection against particles can be better taken into account in the first designs for new closure systems.

“We tackled this issue at an early stage. This is just one way Brose is meeting customer demands: car manufacturers require their suppliers to understand how to simulate environmental influences,” explains Martin Tupy, who is the project engineer responsible for simulation in Advanced Development Brose Group.

More applications planned

So far the simulation tool is only designed for “Arizona dust”. The next step is to adapt the software for other types of dust, like those found in Asia and other regions. Brose will also use the method for other products.

Computer-aided analysis of dust also represents the first step in virtual testing of environmental influences. In the future we will look more closely at the impact of water and ice on our products.

Virtual simulation of sediments (yellow) in the latch: This method accelerates product development and cuts costs.