Title: Stress analysis using BEM as support for fatigue life prediction in the automotive industry

Authors: Ricardo R. Magalhaes; Cristiano H.O. Fontes; Silvio A.B. Vieira de Melo

Addresses: Department of Engineering, University of Lavras, Campus Universitário, 37200-000, Lavras, MG, Brazil ' Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bahia, R. Aristides Novis, n. 2, Federação, 40210-630, Salvador, BA, Brazil ' Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bahia, R. Aristides Novis, n. 2, Federação, 40210-630, Salvador, BA, Brazil

Abstract: Fractures prediction of automotive components through the application of dynamic loads is used to estimate the fatigue life of these components. Numerical methods together with experimental data can provide accurate predictions and also support changes in the component design. The boundary element method (BEM) is a consolidated numerical technique used in the analysis of structural problems in several applications but its use in the automotive industry is not widespread. This work presents a procedure for estimating the fatigue life of automotive components under dynamic loads while considering the effect of geometric changes on them. BEM was applied as an efficient simulation tool to support the design change proposed for the part analysed and also provided an alternative for predicting stresses distribution. Fatigue life prediction obtained from the strain gauge signals was consistent with the results provided by the durability tests performed to verify component functionality including the appearance of fractures.

Keywords: boundary element method; BEM; automotive components; stress analysis; fatigue life prediction; automobile industry; dynamic loading; component design; simulation; design change; durability testing; fracture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVSMT.2013.052243

International Journal of Vehicle Systems Modelling and Testing, 2013 Vol.8 No.1, pp.88 - 103

Available online: 25 Feb 2013 *

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