Car body design in view of structural performance and lightweighting is a challenging task due to all the performance targets that must be satisfied such as vehicle safety and ride quality. In this paper, material replacement along with multidisciplinary design optimization strategy is proposed to develop a lightweight car body structure that satisfies the crash and vibration criteria while minimizing weight. Through finite element simulations, full frontal, offset frontal, and side crashes of a full car model are evaluated for peak acceleration, intrusion distance, and the internal energy absorbed by the structural parts. In addition, the first three fundamental natural frequencies are combined with the crash metrics to form the design constraints. The wall thicknesses of twenty-two parts are considered as the design variables. Latin Hypercube Sampling is used to sample the design space, while Radial Basis Function methodology is used to develop surrogate models for the selected crash responses at multiple sites as well as the first three fundamental natural frequencies. A nonlinear surrogate-based optimization problem is formulated for mass minimization under crash and vibration constraints. Using Sequential Quadratic Programming, the design optimization problem is solved with the results verified by finite element simulations. The performance of the optimum design with magnesium parts shows significant weight reduction and better performance compared to the baseline design.
Document type: Article
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