Optimization of Cast Components in the Development Process
Conference contribution, 2005
In structural optimization, we wish to design a component such that we fulfill a set of functional requirements while minimizing, for instance, the cost or weight of a component. Here we focus on the optimization of cast components in trucks. Of the functional requirements, several are related to strength issues. For a cast component, the resulting mechanical behavior depends on the casting process, and it must be taken into account that strong couplings exist between the geometry, the production process and the material properties. As a result, one is faced with a complex multidisciplinary optimization problem.
In this contribution, a generic process for optimizing complex multi-physics problems is presented using a succession of more and more complex analyzes. The strategy that we propose is to use low level analyzes to scan a large number of different solutions in order to find the most viable ones. These are then further narrowed down during a chain of analyzes with successively higher level of detail, while trying not to remove good solutions. During the very latest stages of the analysis, only a few solutions are considered, and therefore, more time and resource consuming analyzes can be used in order to fully investigate the properties of the component.
A principal problem of a cast component is discussed for a given a set of mechanical load demands and with consideration to the production process in order to exemplify the process and some possible pitfalls. The explicit computational procedure, based on FE-analysis, is applied to a simplified mechanical and thermal problems involved in the casting of a typical load-bearing structural component.