Instrumentation Technique Used for Design Optimization of Front Axle Support Bracket in Agricultural Tractor 2019-26-0083
Agriculture tractor industry is highly competitive in the current market scenario with global majors competing in various markets. A tractor having an optimum design is of prime importance to keep the cost low while providing higher value to the customers. Technology advances in instrumentation methodology and data acquisition helps not only in providing the right inputs for the design of a component/system but also very much useful for design/system optimization.
Front Axle Support of an agricultural tractor is one of the structural member which is connected to the Chassis which is called skid of the tractor to which the Front Axle is mounted through Pillow block (Plummer block) arrangement to facilitate axle oscillation about the tractor longitudinal center line. Front ballast weights are mounted on a bracket which is intern mounted to the front axle support to maintain the required front reaction in various agricultural operations. The front axle support experiences stresses and strains due to the vertical & lateral movement of the ballast weight as a result of the tractor travel and turning.
Strain gauges and accelerometers are used to acquire strain and vibration characteristics respectively on the front axle support during the vertical and lateral movement of the ballast weights. For the purpose of design optimization three different side support brackets are designed. For optimization of Front axle support, the strain gauge and accelerometers are mounted at different places to record strain and acceleration data from the durability track. Data acquisition was carried out with three different side support bracket configurations in ballasted condition. The acquired data was analyzed for all the four different configurations to assess the best suitable bracket design where least strain and acceleration values are recorded. These measured values are verified with CAE analysis result and are very well comparable and good level of co-relation was established.