A Proposal of an Oil Pan Optimization Methodology 2010-01-0417
In the powertrain technology, designers must be careful on oil pan design in order to obtain the best noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance. This is a great issue for the automotive design because they affect the passengers' comfort. In order to reduce vibration and radiated noise in powertrain assembly, oil pan is one of the most critical components. The high stiffness of the oil pan permits to move up the natural modes of the component and, as a consequence, reduce the sound emission of the component itself. In addition, the optimized shape of the component allows the increase of natural frequency values of the engine assembly. The aim of this study is the development of a methodology to increase the oil pan stiffness starting from a sketch of the component and adding material where it is needed. The methodology is tested on a series of different models: they have the same geometry but different materials. The model is created starting from the geometry of an actual oil pan. A series of iterative optimization are carried out with a finite element commercial software. The presented methodology proves to help the designers with the definition of a design that reaches the requested natural frequencies. The requested natural frequencies are evaluated with an experimental modal analysis on the actual oil pan.