The Madison Group

Putting Years of Plastics Engineering Experience To Work For You

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Madison, WI 53711
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Case Study

Automotive Body Panel (Ford F-150 Pickup Truck rear fender) - Cadpress SMC

A typical example of the flexibility of computer simulation is the ability to quickly relocate the positions of knit lines to areas where they are not critical. Figure 1 shows an optimized charge arrangement that renders an automotive body panel that is strong and reliable in the regions of high stress. The fender shown here is the rear fender from a Ford F-150 pickup truck. The fender was compression molded using SMC material.

Figure 1
Figure 1
Charge layout for an automotive body panel (Ford F-150 pickup truck rear fender).

Figure 2
Figure 2
Predicted filling pattern for an automotive body panel.

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The compression molding simulation software Cadpress was used to predict the mold filling of this body panel as shown in Figure 2. Not only does the model accurately predict the filling pattern inside the cavity, but it also instantly gives the designer a view of the "short shots" and the location of knit lines. From the mold filling information (Figure 2) a simulation can easily compute the fiber orientation in the part (Figure 3) and the shrinkage and warpage once the part is removed from the mold and allowed to cool (Figure 4). As the figure suggests warpage can accurately be predicted using the CAD program.

Figure 3
Figure 3
Predicted fiber orientation in the final part.

Figure 4
Figure 4
Predicted shrinkage and warpage of the final part (40x).

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