Multi-objective Topology Optimization of an Automotive Cradle
A cradle is a separate structure from automotive chassis, which is used to support the powertrain and suspension system. With the application of cradle structure, the noise and vibration transmitted to passengers will be reduced and the stiffness of attachments will be increased. In other words, the riding comfort and the product reliability are improved. The research project is to design and optimize an automotive cradle considering five dominant performance requirements: local static stiffness, crashworthiness, NVH, durability and weight. Multi-objective optimization method will be used to find the optimum designs and their trade-offs. Topology optimization will be introduced into the early design phase to determine the material distribution, which could depend less on experience and give an objective and effective preliminary structure. Size optimization will then be implemented to determine the thickness of the cradle sections in a detailed design phase. By using this advanced optimization, the design period would be shortened, experience-dependency would be decreased, and the cost of time and labor would be lowered.