Title: An efficient optimal design methodology for non-linear multibody dynamics systems with application to vehicle occupant restraint systems

Authors: Guang Dong; Zheng-Dong Ma; Gregory Hulbert; Noboru Kikuchi; Sudhakar Arepally; Madan Vunnam; Ken-An Lou

Addresses: Mechanical Engineering Department, The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA ' Mechanical Engineering Department, The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA ' Mechanical Engineering Department, The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA ' Mechanical Engineering Department, The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA ' CASSI-Analytics, US Army TARDEC, Warren, MI 48397, USA ' CASSI-Analytics, US Army TARDEC, Warren, MI 48397, USA ' R&D Department, ArmorWorks, Enterprises, LLC, Chandler, Arizona 85226, USA

Abstract: The need exists for robust and efficient optimal design methods for application to multibody systems, in which the components to be designed represent connections between large displacement, large rotation motions of the subsystems' bodies. One specific application is occupant restraint systems, such as the Gunner Restraint System (GRS), in which both the vehicle and the gunner can undergo large relative and absolute motions under extreme driving or external threat conditions. In addition, the restraint/connection components can have amplitude-dependent, time-dependent, and timing-dependent behaviour, such as an active belt retractor. Current optimisation methodologies are ill suited for this problem, suffering from infeasibility, lack of robustness, and/or high computational expense. This paper presents an extension of topology optimisation techniques to consider multibody dynamics systems and to treat a much more open design space, which can include passive, active, and reactive structures/devices. The objective is to obtain an optimally combined structural and material system, considering the best use of passive, active and reactive members.

Keywords: active devices; multibody dynamics; topology optimisation; design optimisation; occupant restraint systems; sensitivity analysis; vehicle safety; nonlinear dynamics; vehicle occupants; vehicle design; gunner restraint system; GRS; extreme driving conditions; external threat; gunners; military vehicles.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2013.050845

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2013 Vol.61 No.1/2/3/4, pp.177 - 203

Available online: 05 Dec 2012 *

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