Static Analysis On a Roll Cage Frame for an Off-Road Vehicle

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1299

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
The objective of this research is to optimize the structure of a roll cage for an off-road vehicle that was used for SAE Baja competition by UNLV SAE Baja team. Baja SAE is an intercollegiate competition to design, fabricate, and race a small, single passenger, off-road vehicle powered by a 10 HP Briggs & Stratton 4-Stroke gasoline engine. Since the off-road vehicle is powered by a small capacity engine, the weight of the structure is very critical and must be optimized to improve the performance of the vehicle. In an effort to optimize the structure, a roll cage model was generated using CAD and a finite element (FE) analysis was performed on the structure. A grid independence study was carried out on the FE model to reduce the analysis computation time and space. The effects of stress and deformation of the structure were studied for a linear static frontal impact analysis on roll cage for various mesh sizes. Based on the results of stress and deformation, the frame was modified to improve its structural rigidity. Additional strengthening gussets were added at the locations of high stresses to reduce the stress concentration. Further analysis was carried out to study the influence of other auxiliary structures attached to the frame such as the engine mount, transmission and other components of the vehicle. The design of the structure was considered safe when the Von-Mises stresses were less than the yield strength of the material and the deflections of the structural members were favorable enough for the safety of the driver.
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