Experimental Evaluation of Optimization Procedure for Closure Panels 851257
An earlier report(1) described an approximate optimization technique which was applied to the design of a Fairmont/Zephyr decklid, predicting a potential weight reduction of about 20% compared to the production decklid. The validity of the design technique has been evaluated by fabricating prototype decklids to the optimized design and measuring the appropriate properties, The prototype decklids consisting of 0.024in.(0.61mm) gage inner and outer panels with a redesigned inner panel configuration were essentially equivalent to the design objective production decklid in bending and torsion. In addition, the prototypes passed the engineering specification tests for oil canning and dent resistance. A weight saving of approximately 5-6lbs(2.3-2.7kgs) (15-18%) was achieved relative to the production decklid. It is concluded that the approximate optimization technique can be a useful and inexpensive part of a closure panel design procedure for minimizing the structural weight of closure panels by optimizing gage thickness and inner panel configuration.