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Efficient Shape Optimization of Crashworthy Structures using a New Substructuring Method

Ronald C. Averill Red Cedar Technology 4572 S. Hagadorn Rd., Suite 1-E East Lansing, MI 48823 r.averill@redcedartech.com A new methodology is introduced to drastically reduce the time and effort required to perform vehicle crashworthy design optimization on components or subsystems whose performance is strongly coupled to that of the complete system to which they belong. The current approach, named COMPOSE, reduces the CPU time for such design studies by a factor of 101 – 103, depending upon the problem definition. The main advantage of COMPOSE is that potentially thousands of design iterations can be performed in about the same amount of time required to perform a few (4-8) system level evaluations. With this approach, engineers can perform design studies and thoroughly explore new design concepts that were previously ignored due to their computational expense. This technology has been implemented into a software code called HEEDS (Hierarchical Evolutionary Engineering Design System). Using LS-DYNA explicit as the finite element solver within the HEEDS optimization environment, this process has been applied to several automotive lower compartment rail designs, resulting in significant gains in performance compared to baseline rails designed by experienced engineers.

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