The application of mathematical structural optimization methods to automotive structures is discussed. The global structures are typically simultaneously frequency and stress constrained. In addition, bending effects in the components cannot be ignored. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a very general approach while still retaining computational efficiencies. It has been found that approximation techniques coupled with mathematical programming allow the optimization of moderately realistic structures. In addition, there is a class of problems which must be characterized in terms of their boundary shape. This imposes a new set of difficulties primarily of insuring model integrity during the optimization.

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