Variable Cross-Section Rectangular Beam and Sensitivity Analysis for Lightweight Design of Bus Frame
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Timoshenko beam element of variable cross-section rectangular tube is developed and applied in the lightweight design of bus frame in this paper. Firstly, the finite element formulations of variable cross-section beam (VCB) are derived under the loadsteps of axial deformation, torsional deformation and bending deformation. Secondly, bending deformation experiment and its detailed shell finite element model (FEM) simulation of variable cross-section rectangular tube were conducted; and the proposed VCB, detailed shell FEM and experimental results can be highly consistent. Thirdly, VCBs are used to substitute for parts of the uniform ones in a bus frame. An innovatively lightweight bus frame is obtained and all the performance responses are improved simultaneously. Finally, rollover analysis further shows the advantage of variable cross-section bus frame in crashworthiness design.
Key WordsVariable cross-section beam Beam element Lightweight design Bus frame
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