Weight Optimization of “Cap, Wheel Center” For Passenger Car 2011-01-0522
In developing countries steel wheel is generally used in the low end passenger cars. Steel wheel has a hole at center, known as wheel bore which give the provision for tightening & un-tightening of axle nut. Due to this hole, the surrounding parts are visible which reduces the aesthetic appearance of the wheel.
To cover the center portion of the wheel, “Cap, Wheel Center” also called as “Center Cap” is used, which is an aesthetic oriented part as shown in Figure 1. Center Cap is designed in such a manner that it can be easily removed & re-fitted during the service of vehicle.
This paper explains the systematic methodology to optimize the weight of the “Center Cap” without compromising the performance & aesthetic appearance. Various analytical calculations have been done to achieve base line value of the design which was further justified using CAE (computer aided engineering) to optimize the performance & weight. Also various vehicle/bench tests including bench marking were done to fix the material specification which resulted in optimized design of “Center Cap”.