Effect of Polyurethane Structural Foam on Vehicle Stiffness
Stability and structural integrity are extremely important in the design of a vehicle. Structural foams, when used to fill body cavities and joints, can greatly improve the stiffness of the vehicle, and provide additional acoustical and structural benefits. This study involves modal testing and finite element analysis on a sports utility vehicle to understand the effect of structural foam on modal behavior. The modal analysis studies are performed on this vehicle to investigate the dynamic characteristics, joint stiffness and overall body behavior. A design of experiments (DOE) study was performed to understand how the foam's density and placement in the body influences vehicle stiffness. Prior to the design of experiments, a design sensitivity analysis (DSA) was done to identify the sensitive joints in the body structure and to minimize the number of design variables in the DOE study.