Finite Element Concept Models for Vehicle Architecture Assessment and Optimization 2005-01-1400
There are two distinct classes of finite element models that can be used to support vehicle body design and development. The most familiar of these is the detailed body model, which achieves computational accuracy by precisely simulating component geometries and assembly interfaces. This model type is quite useful for conducting trade-off studies after detail drawings become available. The second class is an architecture concept model that simulates the basic layout and general structural behavior of major load-carrying members (e.g., pillars, rails, rockers, etc.) and joints in the body. Such modes are valuable for design direction studies in the earliest phases of the vehicle development process. This paper presents a generic process for building architecture concept models that include a mathematical representation of the major body joints derived from existing CAE models. The difficulties involved with such joint representation are discussed, and the concept model NVH results are compared with those from a detailed body model. Although the discussion is based on a specific joint representation model, the conclusions are generic and applicable to other joint representations of the same nature.