Optimization of the strength and weight of the welded wheel rim
The problem and the task formulation
Our client encountered a problem in designing a transport vehicle: the welded rear-wheel rim, with a significant weight, was not strong enough in welded points and bolted connections. We had to ensure the predefined bearing capacity of the structure and, where possible, reduce the product weight.
Initial data available for our work included sketches of the welded rim and the general operation environment, which we received via Internet.
For optimizing geometric parameters of the wheel rim, we had a 3D model in its initial version. All procedures were performed under CAD/CAE/PDM. 3D Modeling and optimization was carried out using specialized software by EDS Company.
Then we determined variables characterizing the product quality (weight, maximum working stress) and specified preferable ranges of modification of structural parameters. For every range of parameter variations, we prepared optimization scenarios and made FEA analysis for a multiplicity of points within the given ranges. All calculation scenarios were handed over to the client, which made it possible to determine the welded assembly part sizes, with the rim having a minimum weight and, hence, the inertia moment and a given strength reserve.
The result of our work was such a structure of the wheel rim that ensured the specified strength reserve, the least possible material consumption and inertia.
Our involvement in the project allowed the client to save money and time needed for full-scale tests (all preparatory work, product characteristic calculations and arrangement of reports were made within one week) and significantly improve consumer properties of the product.
Without using our technologies, the client would have had to perform a series of lengthy and expensive full-scale tests that would allow him to attain somewhat improved, but not optimum constructive parameters.
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