The strong competition of the automotive market brings the industries to look continuously for more challenging comfort and performance standards.
These requirements often contrast with the need for weight reduction related to the restrictive emissions limits.
In this scenario, the investments aimed at increasing the structure efficiency (stiffness-to-weight ratio) become fundamental.
The objective of this work is to propose a methodology that allows to identify the most important chassis areas in terms of efficiency: the design and research efforts could then be focused on the real determinant parts. This is done through a sensitivity process that works on frame subsystems and then on each component, first varying the material properties and then the thickness (and so the mass). The designing loadcases considered are the torsional stiffness, bending stiffness, modal analysis and frequency response analysis.
The results show which are the most important subsystems and components that affects the chassis efficiency and that will have to be re-designed in order to improve the current architecture.