Efficient Optimization Based on FEA and CFD Simulations

Stiffness Optimization of a Tractor Lever

Customer Request

For the existing tractor lever component, the loading leads to large displacements and inadmissible high stresses in the design. A design change had to be applied to find a design with a higher stiffness but same weight as the existing component.

Our solution: topology optimization with Tosca Structure

First the maximum available design space was extracted from the complete system. Using topology optimization a minimum compliance design should be found with a constraint on the target weight. To ensure functionality and development of the component, manufacturing constraints were formulated to keep the bearing areas unchanged and avoid undercuts in the drawing direction of the casting molds. In an automated iterative procedure, Tosca Structure launched a finite element solver analysis and changed the material distribution of the current design based on the system response to achieve the optimal structure.

Benefit for the customer

In a completely automated process an entirely new design could be determined very quickly which represented an optimal material distribution in the design domain. Based on the design proposal, a validation analysis was executed to evaluate the stresses and displacements on the smoothed design to ensure that the requirements were fulfilled. The geometric results were transferred to a CAD system to derive the new CAD model. A 50% higher stiffness could be realized for the lever maintaining the weight of the original part.