Parametric Optimization of a Ladder Vehicle Chassis

Michel Henrique Machado Alba, Suzana Moreira Ávila, Maura Angélica Milfont Shzu (Universidade de Brasília)

CHALLENGE - This paper presents the analysis and efficiency improvement of a vehicle’s ladder chassis. The automotive chassis is responsible for the proper operation of almost all the other systems in a vehicle (relative to sustention, fixation and protection). The main objective of this work is the reduction of the amount of material needed in its manufacturing process. 

SOLUTION - Here a Cargo C-816 chassis model from Ford is investigated; it is conceptually compound by two stringers and five traverse beams that connect them, usually with a C section. The geometry and the dimensions of these structural components are used as parameters to be modified in order to get the objective function minimization, which is the structure’s total volume. The proposed methodology is developed initially by the chassis modelling through ANSYS 13.0. The optimization process is performed by ANSYS first order optimization algorithm​, followed by the Nelder & Mead Simplex from modeFRONTIER optimization platform. Based on CAE, this paper uses analysis with the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and concepts of manufacturing processes and mechanic of materials to certify the structure’s integrity after the initial volume reduction. 









BENEFITS - The optimization of the Cargo C-816 chassis model was obtained by minimizing the dimensions of cross section (project variables) resulting in an expressive reduction of the structure’s total volume. A volume reduction of 23.3% is reached thanks to the demonstrated methodology.