A new front axle-wheel brake concept was to be developed that had to be defined in line with the client demands of today (smaller built-in space, higher performance, a “noise-free“ brake, cost and weight reduction). TRW’s aim was to find a systematic method of structural optimization to be used in conjunction with different CAE tools already in use. This was to be implemented in the company and using the new development of a brake and suspension module as an example, to verify results through consistent application of this method.
The optimization software Tosca Structure with its topology and shape optimization modules proved to be suitable for an optimum design of the new brake concept. Tosca Structure is very flexible because of its interfaces to all common FEM and durability programs, which allowed for an easy and quick integration in the existing process.
Using Tosca Structure allowed TRW to develop a completely new front axle-wheel brake concept within two years; the first prototype fulfilled all demands. Immense savings in the number of loops and in physical tests were made along with important steps in innovation. Development times were drastically reduced and notable cost-savings were made. One of the first orders TRW Automotive received was from a first-class German automobile manufacturer three months after development was completed.
Leaps in innovation, much shorter development times and cost-savings for physical tests have shown that the costs invested in a completely new front axle-wheel brake concept that was developed in a short space of time and resulted in a large order, is an investment that pays for itself.