The targets for the 2015 vehicles were to reduce frictions and masses in order to minimize fuel consumption. Starting from there, one of the most critical issues was the wheel rim design. Lighter rims lead to less rotating masses, reducing energy consumption and improving the dynamic behavior of the vehicle. To this end, the geometry of this specific component had to be optimized: the ideal structure and mass distribution had to be determined, while also taking manufacturing constraints into account. For these development tasks the H2politO team had to apply sophisticated computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools which would support a simulation driven design process and enable early decision making by proposing possible design directions for further improvements of the vehicles.
To determine the optimal solution and to meet the requirements regarding both, performance and low weight at the same time, is a big
development challenge. To further improve the car’s performance the team selected those vehicle components for a redesign that looked
most promising in terms of reducing weight while increasing stiffness. One of the chosen components was a suspension rocker. Here the team
strove not only for a weight reduction but also for an increased component stiffness to improve the suspension system‘s precision for a better
All teams know that in order to finish among the best in each category – from design to costs
to racing performance, their car has to show the best possible performance while also being
light. While safety aspects play a big role, the components also have to be stiff enough to
support a better dynamic performance of the race car and they have to provide a certain
structural strength to endure the loads that occur at the speed at which the car is driven.
One major challenge of the project was therefore to reduce the overall weight of the car while
keeping an eye on component stiffness and internal stresses at different loading conditions.
This success story illustrates how a reputed engineering institute of national acclaim has set-up a CAE – Optimization Lab, equipped with Altair HyperWorks CAE tools, to expose their students to the latest technologies in product design, analysis, and optimization.
Within the range of the CAE – Optimization Lab, CoEP has launched various courses to impart knowledge on Altair HyperWorks. This CoEP initiative bridges the gap between industry expectations and needs and the knowledge that graduating students possess. Being trained on advanced and contemporary technologies such as the HyperWorks suite has opened new opportunities for students to embark their career, has improved the national ranking of the college due to investing in a modern and robust infrastructure, and also has benefitted the industry by creating a talent pool of well-trained manpower, available to work on breakthrough engineering initiatives.
In the season of 2010/2011 the Team Elbforace decided to switch from a combustion engine to an electrical powertrain concept. This brings in additional weight due to the use of accumulators and AC converters. To optimize the race car performance, the design of the remaining components of the car had to be optimized to a minimum weight.
Since simulation and optimization are growingly becoming more important in the everyday work
life of an engineer, the IFB Stuttgart has been offering a class in lightweight design for several
years, using HyperWorks to teach students all the fundamentals they need to know about FE,
pre- and post-processing, and optimization tasks. This lecture enables the students to design
weight optimized components in a state-of-the-art design process and allows them to gain
experience in the usage of modern CAE tools.
In order to predict the structural performance of prostheses, such as artificial knee joints (Fig. 1), engineers perform FE simulations based on ideal CAD models of the implant. In reality, however, various imperfections exist. For example, the manufactured joint can show geometrical deviations, nonhomogeneous
material distribution, internal cavities, inclusions or delamination. To investigate the effect of the imperfections on performance, the manufactured component is scanned in a computer tomograph. In the past, it was very difficult to create high-quality FE meshes based on CT data, because of the size and the level of detail in a CT model. A good FE mesh is needed to obtain accurate results from the simulation
The Challenge: Remove Weight and Improve Performance
Reducing weight while improving performance is an essential approach in the design and construction of Formula Student vehicles. Both Stuttgart teams, therefore, employed OptiStruct, the finite-element based technology for structural optimization found within the HyperWorks software suite, to optimize their entries and gain equal benefits for two very different cars with similar optimization requirements.
The Rennteam designs, develops and builds a completely new internal-combustion vehicle each year. Some parts are based on former models and optimized each year, while other parts require entirely new designs. The weight of the Rennteam’s 2012 race car was targeted to between 175 and 185 kg.
OptiStruct proved to be the perfect tool for these requirements.
In 2011 the KA-RaceIng team’s major goal was to improve the maintainability of its racing car. To get a better access to the engine and the suspensions, the concept of a hybrid vehicle frame was chosen. The team aimed to combine a tubular steel frame in the rear of the car with a CFK monocoque, thus replacing a pure CFK monocoque solution, which was used in the previous racing season. Since the steel of the tubular frame brings in additional weight, the challenge was to keep the overall weight on the same level while taking advantage of the combined solution in terms of maintainability during the race and low production costs.
• Need to create high fidelity finite element models
from computed tomography (CT) scans
• Geometry input only available in STL format
• Mesh requires cleanup and quality improvements
are necessary in order to achieve accurate results