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Technical Paper

A General Formulation for Topology Optimization

Topology optimization is used for obtaining the best layout of vehicle structural components to achieve predetermined performance goals. Unlike the most common approach which uses the optimality criteria methods, the topology design problem is formulated as a general optimization problem and is solved by the mathematical programming method. One of the major advantages of this approach is its generality; thus it can solve various problems, e.g. multi-objective and multi-constraint problems. The MSC/NASTRAN finite element code is employed for response analyses. Two automotive examples including a simplified truck frame and a truck frame crossmember are presented.
Technical Paper

A New Approach for Weight Reduction in Truck Frame Design

A new, systematic, sensitivity based design process for weight reduction is presented. Traditionally, a trial and error method is used when a design fails to meet the weight and the design criteria, which often conflict. This old approach not only is time and cost consuming but also does not provide insight into structural behavior. This proposed process uses state-of-the-art technologies such as design sensitivity analysis, numerical optimization, graphical user interface, etc. It handles multi-discipline design criteria simultaneously and provides design engineers insight into structural responses for frequency, durability, and stiffness concerns and a means for systematic weight reduction and quality improvement. The new design process has been applied for the weight reduction of advanced truck frame designs. Results show that a significant weight savings has been achieved while all design criteria are met.
Technical Paper

Upfront Body Structural Optimization using Parametric Concept Modeling

Growing demand for fuel-efficient or light weight vehicle has become a challenge for vehicle development. Upfront engineering process provides more opportunities for engineers to improve body weight efficiency. To accelerate the upfront body development process, the parametric concept modeling technology is commonly employed to generate parametric three-dimensional geometry, joints, modular components, concept welding, and finite element meshes. The topology optimization which determines the best structural layout without weight penalty has also been used during the conceptual design stage. The objective of this research is to explore the feasibility of integrating the advanced parametric concept modeling and both topology optimization and structural optimization technologies into upfront body architecture development process.
Technical Paper

A Multi-Objective Optimization and Robustness Assessment Framework for Passenger Airbag Shape Design

A passenger airbag is an important part of a vehicle restraint system which provides supplemental protection to an occupant in a crash event. New Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards No. 208 requires considering multiple crash scenarios at different speeds with various sizes of occupants both belted and unbelted. The increased complexity of the new requirements makes the selection of an optimal airbag shape a new challenge. The aim of this research is to present an automated optimization framework to facilitate the airbag shape design process by integrating advanced tools and technologies, including system integration, numerical optimization, robust assessment, and occupant simulation. A real-world frontal impact application is used to demonstrate the methodology.
Technical Paper

An Optimization and Trade-Off Process for Crashworthiness with Multiple Responses

Automotive crashworthiness design requires considering multiple impact modes which are often coupled by common design variables, such as sheet metal gauges. Together with different types of disciplinary design constraints and design variables, it is difficult to achieve an optimal design that meets all the design criteria with affordable cost. The objective of this research is to employ the advanced optimization and trade-off technologies to help engineers systematically get insight into the design space and subsequently select an optimal design. A vehicle example which considers multiple impact modes including full frontal, frontal offset, side, and rear impact is presented to demonstrate the proposed optimization and trade-off procedure.
Technical Paper

An Excel Based Robust Design Tool for Vehicle Structural Optimization

To reduce the cost of prototype and physical test, CAE analysis has been widely used to evaluate the vehicle performance during product development process. Combining CAE analysis and optimization approach, vehicle design process can be implemented more efficiently with affordable cost. Reliability based design optimization (RBDO) formulation considers variations of input variables, such as component gauges and material properties. As a result, the design obtained by using RBDO is more reliable and robust compared to those by deterministic optimization. The RBDO process starts from running simulation at DOE sampling data points, generating surrogate models (response surface) and performing robust and reliability based design optimization on the surrogate models by using Monte Carlo simulation. This paper presents a RBDO framework in Excel enviroment.
Technical Paper

Reliability-Based Design Optimization of a Vehicle Exhaust System

This paper focuses on the methodology development and application of reliability-based design optimization to a vehicle exhaust system under noise, vibration and harshness constraints with uncertainties. Reliability-based design optimization provides a systematic way for considering uncertainties in product development process. As traditional reliability analysis itself is a design optimization problem that requires many function evaluations, it often requires tremendous computational resources and efficient optimization methodologies. Multiple functional response constraints and large number of design variables add further complexity to the problem. This paper investigates an integrated approach by taking advantages of variable screening, design of experiments, response surface model, and reliability-based design optimization for problems with functional responses. A typical vehicle exhaust system is used as an example to demonstrate the methodology.
Technical Paper

Structural Optimization for Crash Pulse

In vehicle safety engineering, it is important to determine the severity of occupant injury during a crash. Computer simulations are widely used to study how occupants move in a crash, what they collide during the crash and thus how they are injured. The vehicle motion is typically defined for the occupant simulation by specifying a crash pulse. Many computer models used to analyze occupant kinematics do not calculate both vehicle motion and occupant motion at the same time. This paper presents a framework of response surface methodology for the crash pulse prediction and vehicle structure design optimization. The process is composed of running simulation at DOE sampling data points, generating surrogate models (response surface models), performing sensitivity analysis and structure design optimization for time history data (e.g., crash pulse).
Technical Paper

Recent Applications on Reliability-Based Optimization of Automotive Structures

This paper is on the application of reliability-based design optimization of automotive structures. Several foundmental approaches aimed at simulations, optimization and robustness analysis are discussed. They include: Sampling techniques and nonlinear response surface methodologies; Optimization and robustness assessment. Basic approaches of reliability-based design optimization such as Hasofer-Lind method, single loop single vector method and mean value first order reliability method; Robust design formulation. The major focus is on the implementation of reliability-based design optimization methodologies to vehicle crash safety design. Some recent applications are presented to demostrate how these approaches can be used for vehicle structure design.