As lightweight design assumes greater importance in road vehicles development, the present paper is mainly devoted to the structural optimization of a brake caliper.
In the first part of the study a simplified finite element model based on beam elements of a brake caliper has been developed and validated.
By using the developed model, a multi-objective optimization has been completed. The total mass of the caliper and the deformations at some critical locations have been minimised. The considered design variables are related to the shape of the caliper and the cross sections of the beam elements.
The obtained optimal solutions are characterized by an asymmetric shape of the caliper. Optimised symmetric shapes currently used have been compared with the asymmetric ones in terms of performance.
In the second part of the study, a detailed analysis on the optimal caliper shape has been carried out by performing a structural topology optimization.
The minimum compliance problem has been solved using the SIMP (solid isotropic material with penalization) approach and the optimal solution has been compared with the ones obtained by applying the multi-objective optimization on the simplified model (beam elements).
The obtained design solutions represent a good starting point for future developments in actual industrial applications.