Durability analysis considering real life- and production influences leads to more realistic optimization results

The virtual development path of systems and their components gains more in the total development ever significance. Also the computational fatigue simulation based on FEM-analyses has already a large extent penetration to the vehicle development process. Due to the complex, interdisciplinary interaction of many influence parameters, still large improvement potentials are in simulation methodology and in the application process.

One of these potentials is the topology and local shape strength optimization of casting components. An important argument for the use of casting structures in the vehicle power train is the large geometrical and physical design freedom, which permits an optimal adjustment of the construction unit characteristics to the respective operating conditions. The optimization of the shape is particularly demanded from there in the phase of the virtual development process chain. In this paper a simulation process is presented, whatever stress and rigidity optimization with the damage analysis combined and refers the locally different material properties from the production process (e.g. casting simulation, hardening process).

Also welded structures have a large weight reduction and fatigue life optimization potential if the spatial arrangement of the seam, the local seam geometry and the welding seam ends are adapted optimally to the operating load conditions of the structure. Production-determined fluctuations of the local welding seam characteristics have substantial influence on the fatigue life time. To secure such type of influences a robust-simulation is applied.

On the basis of distinctive test examples and real automotive components it is represented that the inclusion of the manufacture process leads to a significant improvement of the optimization result concerning fatigue life time and component weight.

The paper contacts technical designers, FEA engineers and material strength specialists.

The Author

Axel Werkhausen, Bernhard Unger, Helmut Dannbauer
Magna Powertrain, Engineering Center Steyr GmbH & CoKG, St. Valentin, Austria

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