Structural Optimization of Rollcage Using Finite Element Analysis and Design of Experiments Approach 2018-01-5014
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a numerical method to find solutions to real world problems and is now commonly used for product development. Various finite element analyses are performed to validate the system performance. Many finite element codes are also available for this purpose. Now-a-days, product development not only deals with the validation of design performance, but also focuses on design optimization. Methods such as one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) experiments are generally used in which one input factor is varied at a time and its effect on system performance is studied. Design of Experiments (DOE) is a systematic approach in which more than one input factors are purposefully varied to study their effect on system performance. Finite Element Analysis and Design of Experiments approach can be used in combination for design optimization. This paper deals with the process for design optimization that can be followed using FEA and DOE in conjunction. This methodology is explained with an example of structural optimization of rollcage having an objective to minimize the mass of rollcage structure. A finite element model is built and different simulations are performed as required for the DOE study. A screening DOE is performed to discard the unnecessary variables and then a detailed DOE study is performed. Correlations and interactions are extracted from the study to find the relationship between design variables and responses. Inferences are drawn based on these relationships and various designs are made. The optimized design is thus reached and a mass reduction of 22% is achieved.