Topology optimization of a prototype race car rear wing pillar

The design optimization of race car structural parts becomes more and more popular in the motorsport industry. Companies involved in the design and development of race cars subjected to the technical and safety regulations are looking forward implementing this tool as an important part of their design process. The principal objective here is to maximize the stiffness to mass ratio of the part by optimizing the material distribution ultimately leading to an overall enhancement in performance.

The presentation exposes the topology optimization of a Le Mans Prototype race car rear wing pillar. This study took part into the design and development project of the new LMP2 LOTUS T128. The analysis has been carried out using OptiStruct the optimization tool developed by Altair Engineering. The optimization cycle was setup such that the objective is the minimization of the original part volume constrained by stress and displacement limits.

The result of the optimization process showed a great potential for a mass reduction of the original wing pillar. Taking into account different manufacturing constraints the final optimized design ended up being 54% lighter than the reference design. This massive reduction in mass contributed significantly to meeting the total mass target of the rear structure of the car.


The Author

Elias AMRO
Development Engineer