The design optimization module, ANSYS☉PC/OPT, executes on a personal computer and interacts with the finite element program, ANSYS-PC/LINEAR, to aid the engineer in improving or optimizing an initial design. This module is used to investigate the design of the WABCO 170 ton Haulpak® truck frame, modeled using three-dimensional tapered beam and linear spring finite elements.
Several representative dimensions of the beams in the framework are selected as design variables for the optimization process. ANSYS-PC/OPT is used to obtain a minimum weight design in terms of limitations imposed on these design variables; and subject to constraints on the direct, bending, and torsional stress levels in the beam members.
This paper includes a description of how the optimization module utilizes the finite element analysis results to form an approximation of the structure that is subsequently modified to meet the design objective. Finally, a comparison is made evaluating the performance for this optimization problem on the personal computer and the mini-computer systems.