Shape Optimization of a Megabracket – A Case Study 2008-01-0252
A Mega-bracket is a cast bracket which connects a chassis frame of a truck to the front bumpers and usually there are two of these for a truck. The mega-brackets help provide clearance for the engine radiator and hence it has a curved shape. It is usually designed to support the towing load when a fully loaded truck needs to be towed following a break-down. A general method of designing a mega-bracket, using shape optimization techniques, is described with a case study.
A preliminary design was found to be unsatisfactory to support the tow loads. Finite Element (FE) Topology optimization techniques were used to give us directions as to where ribs should be provided to support the tow loads. FE Shape optimization techniques were then applied to size the ribs and also the rest of the structure using shape variables, which are possible design variations. Since the mega-bracket is irregular in shape, it is extremely difficult and time consuming to generate shape vectors. Hence, Topography optimization which effectively use morphing techniques, were used to generate shape vectors.