Structural Optimization of Product Families : With Application to Vehicle Body Structures

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för konstruktions- och produktionsteknik; Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för konstruktions- och produktionsteknik


Some products share one or two modules and while developing these products, structural optimization with stiffness as the objective function can be a useful tool. There might be no or very little CAD-data available in the pre-development phase and it is not certain that existing designs can be, or is desirable to use as a reference. The main objective of this thesis is to establish an accurate and fast-to-use methodology which can be utilized while developing new cars.

In this thesis, the Volvo products S40, V50 and C70 serve as a basis for this case study. All the models are beam structures and the masses of components are added as point and line masses. Several optimization analyses are performed on one or three products exposed to seven load cases. Additional analyses with shell elements, more simplified models and changed load case balance achieved by normalization of the different load case compliances are also studied to investigate how these factors influence the results.

Analyses show that front crash to a great extent dominates the results while normalization increases the influence of the remaining load cases. Since front crash is dominating and the front area is shared in all products, the performance is remarkably similar when three products are optimized compared to separate analyses of one product. Analysis of models without added point or line masses gives a result which greatly differs from previous results and therefore shows that added masses are required. The methodology is applicable to develop products and detect new load paths through the car.

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