Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-01-0807

Agile Modeling of Component Connections for Simulation and Design of Complex Vehicle Structures 2009-01-0807

Many efficient modeling methods have been developed for analyzing the effects of component-level variations and uncertainties on the system-level response of complex structures. However, relatively little work has addressed the efficient or agile modeling of variations in the connections between components. Such a capability would be useful for simulation (e.g., performing reliability analysis accounting for spot welding variations) and design (e.g., determining fastener locations for up-armor kits) of commercial and military ground vehicle structures. In this work, a component mode synthesis approach to structural modeling is enhanced by also modeling variations in the connections between components. With this framework, changes in the joining or fastening of the components can be considered in a structural analysis or design process. The components are condensed statically or dynamically with all the candidate joining nodes being retained as active degrees of freedom. In addition, this procedure is implemented in a systematic joining topology design optimization procedure for an example case of two structural components welded together. The welding pattern is optimized to improve the structural dynamic performance of the connected structure while satisfying constraints on the total joining area. The joining is modeled with three-dimensional spring elements connected to the candidate nodes, and the intermediate stiffness of the springs are penalized by the Solid Isotropic Material with Penalization (SIMP) modeling. The design variables are the stiffnesses of the springs, which can then be thresholded to determine the optimized welding pattern. All the joining design variables are confined to a single joining component, so only that component is updated during each iteration of the optimization procedure.


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