Design Optimization of Hydroformed Crashworthy Automotive Body Structures

Akbar Farahani, Ronald C. Averill, and Ranny Sidhu
2003 CAD-FEM Users' Meeting, Berlin, Postdam, Germany. 

The design optimization approach described here leads to a productive search over hundreds of variables at a time. This capability has been implemented in HEEDS Professional, which uses multiple autonomous agents to hierarchically decompose a problem into subsets with highly decomposed overlapped relationships. Decomposition is effected by using different numbers of design variables, different levels of design variable discretization, and/or other problem-specific divide-and-conquer rules. HEEDS combines evolutionary search algorithms with local optimization techniques. Using explicit finite element codes such as LS-DYNA as the finite element solver within the HEEDS optimization environment, this process has been applied to several automotive rail designs, resulting in significant gains in performance in addition to substantial reductions in mass compared to baseline rails designed by experienced engineers. Two example applications of this method are described herein.
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