Finite Element Analysis and Structural Optimization of Vehicle Wheels 830133
This paper describes the application of the MSC/NASTRAN finite element program to the structural analysis of automotive vehicle wheels and the optimization of wheel designs subject to both NVH and fatigue related constraints. Common wheel design considerations are discussed including wheel tests for both fatigue and stiffness. Techniques for the finite element modelling of wheels subjected to such loadings are described including MSC/NASTRAN cyclic symmetry capabilities, solid element modelling and plate element modelling of wheels. The use of OPUS (Optimization Process Utility System) interfaced with MSC/NASTRAN for automated design optimization is described. Its application to the structural optimization of a cast aluminum wheel using gage related design variables and both NVH and fatigue related constraints is described. It is concluded that such analytical techniques represent a practical approach to the design, structural analysis, and optimization of automotive vehicle wheels.