Browse Publications Technical Papers 2011-01-0069

Topological Design Approach for an Electrical Car Chassis 2011-01-0069

The goal of this work is to optimize an automotive chassis for a 3 wheeled hybrid vehicle. This vehicle is intended for touristic and low speed performance, 2 of the more relevant features are, that the vehicle has 3 wheels and that it is battery powered by 7 cells which are distributed under the driver seat and the first line of seats. Therefore, the vehicle has to be very light but still strong enough to endure the daily loads it is driven into. In order to obtain the final topological region an improving process in the topological region's geometry was needed, starting with regions with 30 mm element's size to 16 mm element's size, so the available equipment could compute the optimization in similar amounts of time.
Topological optimization is used to acquire a very close shape to the optimal one for structural problems design from a conceptual viewpoint. This approach creates a guide to generate, in later design stages, a structural design for fully manufacturable prototypes or final products, which have optimal characteristics. In this work, topological optimization is used to develop an electrical car chassis under some static and driving loads. The optimized shape of the chassis indicates load paths along where material is preserved. Minimum weight and low strain energy are the parameters considered. Topology optimization is used to find the optimal distribution of material in a given region. Unlike shape and sizing optimization, topology optimization does not require a previous design. The design starts with a block of material formed by a large amount of finite elements and the topology optimization will rearrange the mass, so it reinforces the weak spots, and removes material from gross sections.
The final profile obtained presented good symmetry features, nevertheless, with smaller elements the solution would be more accurate, however, it can be considered enough since topology optimization is only an approach to develop designs; further optimization procedures will define a final profile.


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