AN OPTIMIZATION CAPABILITY FOR AUTOMOTIVE STRUCTURES 790972
Mathematical structural optimization methods have been proposed as one way to design lightweight vehicles. This paper describes the development and application of these methods to automotive structures.
Because of the wide range of loading conditions that an automobile must be designed for, it is necessary to develop an optimization technique which will consider multiple load cases (such as static, inertia relief, and dynamic) applied to the structure with different boundary conditions (such as symmetric and antisymmetric). In addition, since the optimization algorithm will require many structural analyses as it guides the design to minimum weight, it is imperative that these analyses be as efficient as possible so that the computational cost will not be prohibitive. The major emphasis is on beam representations of the entire structure for preliminary design, although subassemblies of beams and plates for more detailed analysis can also be handled.