This project is intended to improve the quality of design and specification of mechanical components used typically in the aerospace automotive, electrical, electronic and textile engineering industries.
From a worldwide study of design methodologies, a general model of the new product design and introduction process has been proposed. Within this systematic design process, the role of an expert system for the selection of materials, treatments and coatings has been identified. Analysis of the working practices of designers within the 2 industrial partners has produced a user based specification for the system.
An initial, top level, design architecture has been developed whichhas identified the essential components of the proposed system.
Materials databases of the 2 industrial partners are currently being rationalised with the objective of producing a standardised list of materials. A rationalised classification of materials is being developed based on the characteristic properties of each class, taking account of the influence of composition. A list of material properties that need to be included within this project is also under development.
The project will gather together the state-of-the-art design rules that take into account plastic deformation, fatigue, wear and corrosion, develop a methodology that makes full use of them based on a comprehensive set of case studies and encapsulate the result in a knowledge-based system to assist design engineers in both SMEs and large companies and thereby improve the quality, reliability and maintainability of components and tools produced by industry within the European Community.