An optimization framework is developed to minimize structural weight of the front-frame of heavy-duty trucks while satisfying stress constraint. The shape of the frame is defined by a number of design parameters (which define the shape of the side-rail, position and width of the internal brackets, and width of the flanges). In addition, the thickness of the engine-mount, the side-rails, inner-brackets, radiator mount, shock absorber and cab-mount connector are also considered as design variables. Aluminum Alloy, 6013-T6 is chosen as the material and the maximum allowable stress is the yield stress (320 MPa). A quantity known as ‘Violation’ is defined as the ratio of area in the front-end module where stress constraint is violated to the total area of the frame is introduced to implement stress constraints. For optimization, the penalty method is used where the objective is to minimize the total weight while keeping the value of the ‘Violation’ parameter less than 0.1 %. The Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm is implemented using parallel computation for optimizing the structure. Commercial FEA software MSC.PATRAN is used for creating the geometry and the mesh whereas MSC.NASTRAN is used to perform static analysis. Six design load conditions, each corresponding to a road condition are used for the problem.

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