Sudalaimuthu, S., Sithik, M., Pesce Jr, R., and Sankaran, C., "Light Weight Structure Development Using Non Linear Load Cases For Suspension Components (Cradle)," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-1391, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-1391.
Based on current trends, there is a huge demand for lightweight components, which improves fuel efficiency and reduces cost of the vehicle. Stiffness based optimization process is simple and straightforward while durability (Misuse load case) based optimizations are relatively complex due to its highly nonlinear behavior. However, durability performances are critical in a front cradle design. So a process needs to be identified for creating a new light weight front cradle design.This study talks about the process of identifying new cast aluminium cradles achieving NVH and durability performance. Load path study using topology optimization is done based on compliance method for the durability load case. A concept model is generated from the topology results. This concept model is further optimized for thickness of ribs and walls by the application of various shape variables. All the critical non linear durability load cases are linked for the shape optimization study. ANSA is used to create the required shape variables and Isight is used as the optimizer. 20% weight reduction is achieved using this process satisfying all the performance targets.