Volvo Cars has for years had problems with simulating air bellows properly. These have previously been simulated as usual hoses, which means that the air bellows do not behave the same in the simulation program as in reality.
The simulation program that Volvo Cars use today is named Industrial Path Solutions and is provided via the company Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre.
Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre has created a new feature in the IPS called the Flexible Surface software, which perhaps could meet Volvo Cars needs.
The purpose of this study was to see if the Flexible Surface software could be used to simulate more complex items such as air bellows which Volvo Cars today simulates as cables. The air bellows are often complex built with grooves and craters, which is something the Flexible Surface software can handle unlike the currently used Cable Simulation.
The work has compared how simulations have been done before with simulations from the new software and concluded that continued development of the Flexible Surface software in conjunction with Volvo Cars is desirable.
The software manages the air bellow and the results look promising for future implementation. The major things which today remains for a full implementation is the usability, development of methods to simulate air bellows with varying thickness, the creation of good center surfaces and some real life verification of the simulations.
The work has largely been carried out at Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre on Johanneberg but also at Volvo Cars Torslanda.