Due to the capacity for high payloads and harsh operating conditions, and the simple demounting tire operation, multipiece wheels are widely used on heavy vehicles and construction machinery. There is potential for weight reduction of one certain multi-piece wheel (type 8.5-20) for heavy vehicles based on its greatly low failure rate from the customer usage data. In order to improve material efficiency, the strength analysis and structural optimization of the multi-piece wheel was systematically studied in this paper. The characteristics of the wheel under the bending load and radial load were simulated by using finite element method (FEM). According to the obtained stress distribution, the rim base was optimized on the basis of its performance under the radial load. SolidWorks, Abaqus and Excel were integrated on the optimization design platform Isight to automate the optimum workflow based on the approximation loop strategy. This strategy packed in Exploration component of Isight is an iterative algorithm which creates an approximation and executes an optimization plan multiple times, updating the approximation automatically between each cycle if deemed necessary. Eventually, the optimal results showed that a good lightweight design effect was acquired, and the weight of the rim base was reduced by 6.5% under requirements of strength and rigidity. The research provides a fast method for the optimal design of wheels because of less calculation of simulation model and fast convergence with above strategy.

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