Title: A collaborative FEA platform for rapid design of lightweight vehicle structures

Authors: Mladenko Kajtaz, Aleksandar Subic, Monir Takla

Addresses: School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, P.O. Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Melbourne, Australia. ' School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, P.O. Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Melbourne, Australia. ' School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, P.O. Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Melbourne, Australia

Abstract: This paper presents a novel methodology for rapid design of sustainable vehicle structures using a collaborative Finite Element Analysis (FEA) platform. The developed platform utilises FEA substructures in a novel way to increase the vehicle development efficiency by speeding up analysis and reducing the number of iterations in the product development process. It also allows rapid validation of design changes early in a design and therefore reduction of computational effort and time without compromising accuracy. The underpinning methodology was described and illustrated here using a case study dealing with the design and optimisation of a car seat actuator assembly.

Keywords: rapid design; collaborative platform; collaborative FEA; finite element analysis; substructures; lightweight vehicles; vehicle structures; vehicle design; product development; design changes; design change validation; optimisation; car seat actuator assembly.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2010.032986

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2010 Vol.53 No.1/2, pp.110 - 131

Available online: 06 May 2010 *

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