Parametric Surface Modelling for Rapid Shell Mesh Setup of Railway Vehicle Carbodies

The creation of shell meshes for finite element (FE) analysis of railway vehicle carbodies is a rather time consuming task. Standard midsurface algorithms are not able to directly deliver ready to mesh surface geometries of these mechanical structures. For early concept development often 3D data from design engineers are not available and the simulation models must be built from scratch. To overcome these drawbacks modern CAD functionality is applied to generate complete, ready to mesh midsurfaces. These models are set up to contain relevant modelling issues for FE simulation as well as physical properties and areas for loads and boundary definitions. In addition, they are built up parameterized so they can efficiently be modified (e.g. for concept studies). HyperMesh with its powerful scripting features is used for an automated model setup. This "soft-coupled" CAD-CAE approach has successfully been applied including a sophisticated geometrical parameterization strategy which allows investigating different carbody designs in short time. Considerable accelerations were achieved for setting up ready to run FE models. Being fast and decoupled from the CAD model of the design engineer makes it possible to obtain high quality results early in product development. This improves product quality, leads to overall cost savings, and reduces the overall time to market.


The Author

Thomas Grausgruber
Siemens, Rail Systems