Optimization of Commercial Vehicle’s Steering Tie Rod Arm Design Based on Strain Life Approach 2016-01-0381
In the present scenario, automobile manufacturers are forced to reduce the weight of each components through design optimization. In a bid to enhance the fuel efficiency and load carrying capacity of the vehicle; however this approach may not be practical for all the parts in real life, and the engineer will end up adding further mass to the component. This is carried out to enhance the strength of the component, since considerable over load application in real world usage condition which can damage the component drastically.
In this paper, steering tie rod arm of a heavy commercial vehicle was taken as a case study. The Steering tie rod arm is a part which connects the wheel spindle with steering system linkage i.e. Track rod. Track rod transfers the steered force from one wheel to another wheel and steering tie rod arm transfers the force from track rod to wheel spindle to steer both the wheels in same direction.
During vehicle operating conditions, this steering tie rod arm experiences very high tensile and compressive loads and consecutively this part undergoes fatigue. Authors discussed on initial design proposal of steering tie rod arm, CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) Analysis, Instrumentation and Vehicle data acquisition on different operating conditions, block programming of test data, life predictions using strain life approach and physical testing. The predicted life was compared with CAE life and actual component test life to establish correlation. Optimization of design was carried out virtually using this established correlation and further substantiated by rig and vehicle level testing