In this paper a novel approach to handle the structural design and automate the shape optimization of an automotive wheel rim in the ANSYS Workbench environment is proposed.
The aim of the study is to optimize an aluminum rim taking into account the testing conditions dictated by a protocol conceived to get the approval for the certification of such a mechanical component.
Using the CAD of the baseline configuration of the model, the modifications to be computationally investigated for optimization purposes have been applied through a mesh morphing technique using RBF Morph ACT Extension. Specifically, after the judgement of the numerical outputs obtained under the prescribed loading and constraint scenarios considered for the baseline FEM model, the RBF solutions driving the molding of the component have been set to identify the optimal configuration representing the best trade-off between maximum stress present in the component, its mass as well as its structural behavior in terms of inertial characteristics.
A mass reduction of about 8% is achieved satisfying all the strength requirements imposed by the protocol.