Vehicle Structural Design Utilizing Optimized Finite Element Modeling 981013
A study of an existing B-pillar was conducted to examine the changes required to increase the lateral load carrying capability by a factor of ten. A finite element optimization package was used to adjust the geometric and material characteristics simultaneously while minimizing weight. The results show that the weight and cost necessary for the ten-fold improvement in lateral load carrying capability were very low. Further, the results illustrate how structural design optimization with finite element modeling can be effectively utilized to create cost effective elements for use in an integrated occupant protection system.