Virtual Design Optimization of Thermoplastic Steering Wheel 2011-01-0023
Automotive steering wheels, which play an important role as a human machine interface, are evolving over time with numerous integrations and innovations. Thermoplastic steering wheel, one of the innovations in recent times, offers significant reduction in mass along with part integration and styling flexibility and is an excellent replacement to traditional metal armature steering wheels.
Typical steering wheels need to meet many performance requirements before they enter production. With the advancement of computational mechanics and increase in computational capabilities, it has become much easier to evaluate and optimize steering wheel performance in different ways. Instead of manufacturing and running prototype tests, steering wheel designs can be modeled and optimized virtually in various scenarios using standard finite element analysis technique, thus facilitating faster development cycle.
This paper focuses upon the design, analysis and optimization of a single piece thermoplastic steering wheel. Effect of different armature cross sections are studied in detail with respect to different performance requirements. An optimal design is derived for single piece thermoplastic steering wheel.