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Optimization of Bus Body Structure

Optimization of Bus Body Structure

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Published by harmeeksingh01
This paper was presented at Altair's HTC-2010
This paper was presented at Altair's HTC-2010

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Published by: harmeeksingh01 on Oct 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Optimization of Bus Body Structure Using OptiStruct

Harmeek Singh
Engineer, R&D Swaraj Mazda Ltd. Village Asron, Ropar, Distt Nawanshahar-144 533, Punjab (India) erharmeeksingh@gmail.com

Established in 1983, the Swaraj Mazda Ltd is presently manufacturing vehicles for goods and passenger applications. Over the years it has built up a wide product portfolio covering regular as well as niche segment needs. Swaraj Mazda Vehicle population today stands at over 115000. The Swaraj Mazda Bus Body plant is set up by the Sumitomo Corporation, Japan to manufacture the Luxury Buses powered by the Isuzu Engine. The Bus is designed for the Indian Transportation Industry focused on the Serviceability and Crashworthiness. This 39 Seater bus has the Gross Vehicle Weight as 11.9T having wheelbase 5400mm, overall length 1.2mtr and is powered by powerful ISUZU Euro IV Engine. Sustainable profit-making through customer satisfaction in the form of better product and service remain the main concerns of any manufacturing Industry. Increasing market competition and demand of Quality Product has narrowed the margins of the manufacturers. Topology and Topography refinements in the design maintaining the level of Crashworthiness and meeting all the design standards can help in producing an ideal product. Efforts have been made using the FEA with Hypermesh for Pre-Processing, Optistruct as Solver and HyperView for Post-Processing to study the Material and Geometric requirements in the Bus Body Structure & Chassis Frame based on the Boundary Conditions. A significant amount of material was saved using small Geometric changes and by reducing the thickness of the sections, maintaining the same strength and clearing all safety standards of the vehicle.

High Performance, Better Quality and Passenger Safety Standards in the CV Industry have made the job of the designer tough, Market Competition and Increasing Cost of raw material has further made it tougher. Designing the Tubular Structure of the Bus with appropriate available sections and thicknesses at the correct location in the structure to handle the forces and moments within the Stress Range becomes a challenge for the team. Different methods of Optimization (i.e. Shape Optimization and Size Optimization) are used to reduce the overall mass of the structure maintaining the same level of crashworthiness in
Simulation Driven Innovation 1

the shell. It is very difficult to identify the concerned members in a cage of approx 500 tubes to remove, to relocate, to change the section or to reduce the thickness manually with very less scope of error. The physical testing of the bus is seen rarely as the time and huge amount of cost is involved along this, the time of development cycle is increased which causes delays. So, the need of such kind of tool that optimizes our product at the Concept Level itself.

The FE-Modeling is done in the HyperMesh on the Middle Surface of the Tubular Sections using various Elements maintaining the basic Quality Checks of the Model. The model is made free from Penetrations and Interferences. The normals and Free Edges are also checked. Glasses, Doors and other components have been considered as the lump loads and are modeled using the RBE2 and Mass Elements. The bolts are modeled with multiple RBE2 elements with 2 layer washers. Elements used in Modeling: 1. Shell Elements (Quad & Tria Elements) for the Tubular Geometry organized in 75 Component Collectors. 2. RBE2 Elements for depicting the Welding between the Tubes. 3. Mass Elements for the Concentrated Loads in the Bus.

Material & Properties is assigned to the model using the cards defined in the Software. The Overall Weight and Center of Gravity of the FE-Model is brought in consonance with the CAD Modal to correctly define the Model. The model is constrained using SPC elements at the appropriate locations and the model is set for analyzing the Structure for Bending in the Static Load Conditions.

Simulation Driven Innovation


Size and Shape Optimization are the methods where Variables can be assigned to perturbation vectors, which control the shape of the model. Variables can also be assigned to properties, which control the thickness, area, moments of inertia, stiffness, and non-structural mass of elements in the model. In size optimization, the properties of structural elements such as shell thickness, beam cross-sectional properties, spring stiffness, and mass are modified to solve the optimization problem. In shape optimization, the outer boundary of the structure is modified to solve the optimization problem. Using finite element models, the shape is defined by the grid point locations. Hence, shape modifications change those locations. The model was setup for the Shape Optimization (with 3 variants of sections 20X30X2mm, 20X40X2mm, 30X30X2mm) using the load-case for Bending by constraining the Maximum Stress and minimizing the Mass of the Structure with Shapes as the variables. The analysis was run using Optistruct as the Solver. The next setup for Size Optimization was run by freezing the sections by the output from the last solution. In this the variable was the Thickness (1.2mm lower bound and 2.0mm as upper bound) with stress as the constraint and again minimizing the mass of the structure and the Solution was run using the Optistruct as the Solver with the same load-case.

Simulation Driven Innovation


Post-Processing was done using the HyperView and the results were obtained were as: STRESS PLOTS Original Model Structure Weight: 1390Kg

Optimized Mode

Structure Weight: 1315Kg

Simulation Driven Innovation



Original Model

Structure Weight: 1390Kg

Optimized Mode

Structure Weight: 1315Kg

Simulation Driven Innovation



OPTIMIZED MODEL 1315 Kg 321 MPa 31.9mm

DIFFERENCE -5.4% 1.2% 0.1%

The overall weight of the Structure is reduced by 5.4% by making the following alterations: 1. The Cross Sections of the certain key members is to be reduced to (40mmX20mm) from (40mmX40mm). 2. The thickness of some members in the Floor and Roof Area is reduced to 1.6mm from 2mm.

The optimization of the design was carried out using the Shape and Size optimization with Section Shape and Thickness as variables and with the objective to minimize the mass. The Optimization tool, Optistruct has proved to be useful tool in Optimizing the Complex Tubular Bus Structure with reduction in Stresses. The Optistruct has also given the freedom to alter the cross section, thickness, their Locations and orientations of the members used in the Bus Structure and validate the results.

The Structure will be further verified based on the load-case for Rollover Analysis of the Bus Structure, which can reduce some more weight and confirms the Crashworthiness of the structure.

Simulation Driven Innovation


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