Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Automotive Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Omar, Mohammed A

Committee Member

Haque , Imtiaz


This dissertation presents a scientific based approach for the analysis of folded sheet metal products. Such analysis initializes the examination in terms of topological exploration using set of graph modeling and traversal algorithms. The geometrical validity and optimization are followed by utilizing boundary representation and overlapping detection during a geometrical analysis stage, in this phase the optimization metrics are established to evaluate the unfolded sheet metal design in terms of its manufacturability and cost parameters, such as nesting efficiency, total welding cost, bend lines orientation, and maximum part extent, which aides in handling purposes. The proposed approach evaluates the design in terms of the stressed-based behavior to indicate initial stress performance by utilizing a structural matrix analysis while developing modification factors for the stiffness matrix to cope with the stress-based differences of the diverse flat pattern designs. The outcome from the stressed-based ranking study is mainly the axial stresses as exerted on each element of folded geometry; this knowledge leads to initial optimizing the flat pattern in terms of its stress-based behavior. Furthermore, the sheet folding can also find application in composites manufacturing. Thus, this dissertation optimizes fiber orientation based on the elasticity theory principles, and the best fiber alignment for a flat pattern is determined under certain stresses along with the peel shear on adhesively bonded edges. This study also explores the implementation of the fold forming process within the automotive production lines. This is done using a tool that adopts Quality Function Deployment (QFD) principle and Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology to structure the reasoning logic for design decisions. Moreover, the proposed tool accumulates all the knowledge for specific production line and parts design inside an interactive knowledge base. Thus, the system is knowledge-based oriented and exhibits the ability to address design problems as changes occur to the product or the manufacturing process options. Additionally, this technique offers two knowledge bases; the first holds the production requirements and their correlations to essential process attributes, while the second contains available manufacturing processes options and their characteristics to satisfy the needs to fabricate Body in White (BiW) panels. Lastly, the dissertation showcases the developed tools and mathematics using several case studies to verify the developed system's functionality and merits. The results demonstrate the feasibility of the developed methodology in designing sheet metal products via folding.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.