Structural Optimization for Vehicle Dynamics Loadcases 2011-01-0058
As mass reduction becomes an increasingly important enabler for fuel economy improvement, having a robust structural development process that can comprehend Vehicle Dynamics-specific requirements is correspondingly important. There is a correlation between the stiffness of the body structure and the performance of the vehicle when evaluated for ride and handling. However, an unconstrained approach to body stiffening will result in an overly-massive body structure. In this paper, the authors employ loads generated from simulation of quasi-static and dynamic vehicle events in ADAMS, and exercise structural finite element models to recover displacements and deflected shapes. In doing so, a quantitative basis for considering structural vehicle dynamics requirements can be established early in the design/development process. The objective of the authors was to develop more comprehensive structural optimization loadcases by utilizing analysis of the suspension and the loads it imparts on the chassis structure during a handling maneuver. This paper illustrates two new methods of developing vehicle structure for vehicle dynamics: inertia relief step steer and statically constrained roll.