An Integrated Approach for Analysis of Automotive Tubular Rear Axle 2011-28-0128
Tubular components are widely used in automotive axles and transmissions due to inherent advantage of quick development of these parts, consistency in production quality and low costs due to standardized process. The design and development of these tubular parts though underlines high investment in drawing dies. Any modification in these parts due to manufacturing constraints or some failures related to unexpected loadings are expensive and time consuming. Change in thickness may be required at only a particular location to take care of higher stresses, however, it cannot be provided considering limitation on manufacturing process. Thus, designing thickness accurately for these parts is a very important aspect of the design process.
This paper demonstrates the use of FE Simulation for tubular rear axle to include the pre-stress effects of manufacturing process on the part during initial design phase. Simulation is carried out in 3-stages. First stage of the analysis is a forming simulation, followed by machining, shrink fit and service load simulation in second stage. The third stage is for fatigue simulation.
Simulation results are validated by comparing dimensions of the physical parts with the dimensions obtained through forming simulation. Also, force required for forming operation is compared. The methodology can be extended to other similar tubular parts like automotive sway bars, exhaust pipes, hollow drive shaft, stay rods, etc.
ABAQUS FE solver is used for first two stages of simulation and FEMFAT is used to calculate fatigue life in third stage. This method has a potential of reducing development efforts & time, significantly.