Chassis Lightweight Hole Placement with Weldline Evaluation 2020-01-5217
Vehicle weight-driven design comes amid rising higher fuel efficiency standards and must meet the criteria—pass proving ground (PG) test events that are equivalent to customer usage. Computer-aided engineering (CAE) fatigue analysis for PG is a successful push behind to digitally simulate vehicle durability performance with high fidelity. The need for vehicle weight reduction often arises in the vehicle development final phases when CAE methods, time, and tangible cost-effective opportunities are limited or nonexistent. In this research, a new CAE methodology is developed to identify opportunities for lightweight hole placement in the chassis structure and deliver a cost-effective lightweight solution with no additional impact on fatigue life. The successful application of this new methodology exhibits the effectiveness of the truck frame, which is the key chassis structure to support the body, suspension, and powertrain. Potential areas for lightweight holes are highlighted through fatigue life calculation through artificially adjusting the magnitude of load time history and material fatigue properties in the strain-life curve. Weldline fatigue is further applied to verify if the impact on the weldline from those lighting holes is very minimum.