North American modeFRONTIER Users’ Meeting 2015

ESTECO issued a call for presentations for the 4th edition of the North American modeFRONTIER Users’ Meeting, which will take place November 4-5, 2015 at the Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel in Michigan. The gathering of modeFRONTIER enthusiasts provides a unique forum for sharing knowledge and learning about the latest applications, methods and techniques used to advance product innovation through simulation and design optimization. Event information here.

Structural optimization for automotive chassis weight reduction

Figure 1: Ferrari F458 Italia front hood: reference model and new layout from optimization results. The optimization was performed in three stages: topology, topometry and size. (a) Reference model, top view. (b) Reference model, bottom view. (c) Optimum layout. Source: MilleChili Lab

Executive summary—Improvements in design of vehicle structural components are often achieved through trial and error guided by the designer’s know-how. Although the designer’s experience must remain a fundamental element of design, this approach is likely to yield only marginal product enhancements. Design processes can be improved through structural optimization methods linked with finite element analysis. This study of weight reduction in automotive chassis design is based on approaches developed at MilleChili Lab, part of the MilleChili Project created by the University of Modena Engineering Faculty in collaboration with Ferrari to research and design a lightweight automotive chassis for high-performance cars. Continue reading

Weld and adhesive optimization in vehicle body structure development

Executive summary—Passenger-vehicle structural performance is extremely sensitive to welds and adhesive bonds. Traditionally, multidisciplinary optimization (MDO) has been performed largely using thickness, shape and material grade as variables. This project’s objective was to optimize the spot weld count and linear length of adhesives in the body while balancing vehicle structural performance and weight. Various optimization scenarios were carried out: maintain current structural performance but minimize weld count, adhesive length and body weight; maintain current weld count and adhesive length but maximize structural performance and minimize weight; and others. Including welds and adhesives as variables in the MDO process provided additional design space to improve structural performance and reduce cost through spot weld and adhesive minimization. Continue reading

Optimization at ANSYS Automotive Simulation World Congress

automotive-simulation-world-congressOptimization was a theme running throughout the 2015 Automotive Simulation World Congress organized by ANSYS last week in Detroit. We attended sessions on topology, structural, aerodynamic, adjoint, multi-objective and multidisciplinary optimization that ranged across all the conference tracks—Powertrain, Body & Interior, Chassis, Electrification & Electronics. Continue reading

RBF-based aerodynamic optimization of an industrial glider

Figure 1: Taurus glider

Executive summary—Improving the aerodynamic design of an industrial glider flying at Mach 0.08 was the goal of this project: RBF-based aerodynamic optimization of an industrial glider,” Emiliano Costa, D’Appolonia SpA, Rome, Italy; Marco E. Biancolini, Corrado Groth, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Ubaldo Cella, Design Methods (, Messina, Italy; Gregor Veble, Matej Andrejasic, Pipistrel d.o.o., Ajdovščina, Slovenia.

The original design exhibited performance-degrading separation in the wing-fuselage junction region at high incidence angles. Using a numerical optimization approach designed to be affordable even with limited HPC resources, the separation was significantly reduced by updating the local geometry of fuselage and fairing while maintaining the wing airfoil unchanged. Shape variations were applied to the glider’s baseline configuration through a mesh morphing technique founded on the mathematical framework of radial basis functions (RBFs). Computational outputs were obtained using a combination of ANSYS DesignXplorer, ANSYS Fluent and RBF Morph software working in the ANSYS Workbench environment. Continue reading

Aerodynamic optimization of a high-speed train

Source: Optimal Solutions Software

The high-speed train market in recently industrialized countries is one of the most hotly contested engineered-product markets in the world, with even the smallest advantage important in gaining a competitive edge. In particular, fuel consumption is a critical factor in design, sales and maintenance of these vehicles. In this project, a manufacturer of high-speed rail vehicles needed to maximize efficiency, reduce emissions and decrease design time.

Seeking a more efficient engineering approach that would let it maximize the number of designs that could be tested within the project schedule, the manufacturer selected Sculptor from Optimal Solutions Software. By specifying key design parameters, the software allows hundreds of designs to be generated in a matter of minutes—a radical improvement over the company’s previous process, in which this phase of the project took months. Continue reading

Multi-objective optimization of a motorcycle composite swing-arm

Motorbike swing-arm. Source: iChrome

Composite materials are rapidly supplanting metals in racing and sport vehicles, providing comparable strength and stiffness at much lower weight. This project was a feasibility study to replace the single-sided swing-arm in MV Agusta’s high-performance F4 1000R and Brutale 990R/1090RR motorcycles, originally made of aluminum alloy, with a new design consisting of resin transfer molding (RTM) carbon composite. Injection-based technologies for long-fiber reinforcement such as RTM have proven particularly effective for motorsport cars and motorbikes. Continue reading

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