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Technical Paper

Structural Fatigue Strength Evaluation of Commercial Vehicle Structures by Calculating Damage Due to Road Load Inputs

Evaluation of vehicle structural durability is one of the key requirements in design and development of today's automobiles. Computer simulations are used to estimate vehicle durability to save the cost and time required for building and testing the prototype vehicles. The objective of this work was to find the service life of automotive structures like passenger commercial vehicle (bus) and truck's cabin by calculating cumulative fatigue life for operation under actual road conditions. Stresses in the bus and cabin are derived by means of performing finite element analysis using inertia relief method. Multi body dynamics simulation software ADAMS was used to obtain the load history at the bus and cabin mount locations - using measured load data as input. Strain based fatigue life analysis was carried out in MSC-Fatigue using static stresses from Nastran and extracted force histories from ADAMS. The estimated fatigue life was compared with the physical test results.