Modern cars are filled to the brim with electrical components that receive power from the junction block. Therefore, the automotive industry considers the bracket that connects the junction block to the car to be a critical component.
As a result, engineers often over design this bracket to survive the heat and vibrations from the engine. This ensures the bracket has a long service life but also increases the car’s cost and weight.
Topology optimization can help engineers reduce the weight of the bracket while maintaining — or in some cases improving — the part’s performance.
One example is the junction block bracket designed by Kyungshin Corporation. Kyungshin’s topology optimization study proposes a bracket that is 16 percent lighter and has a 46 percent longer service life compared to their original design.
How to Use Topology Optimization to Reduce the Weight of Automotive PartsKyungshin’s engineers use ANSYS Mechanical’s topology optimization functionality to lightweight their designs.
The software uses inputs — such as loads, strength requirements, supports, available space and weight reduction goals — to produce an optimal part.
Kyungshin’s engineers use the software to create a series of optimal design proposals by varying their weight reduction goals and/or strength requirements.
Once the engineers settle on a few designs that meet their strength requirements, they need to further refine them to better suit other needs.
Kyungshin’s engineers further refine their topology optimized designs by performing design of experiment (DoE) and parameter studies. For these analyses, they use ANSYS DesignXplorer and ANSYS optiSLang, respectively.
Topology optimization helps engineers determine material that can be removed from a part.
To see how Kyungshin’s engineers use this software to discover a design that reduces the part’s weight by 16 percent and increases its service life by 46 percent, read Shaping a Stronger Bracket.