Inderscience Publishers

Safety part design optimisation based on the finite elements method and a genetic algorithm

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This paper deals with a numerical approach for improving the mechanical properties of a safety belt anchor. The goal is to optimise the component shape and its manufacturing process by using a multi-objective genetic algorithm (NSGA-2). This kind of automotive component is typically manufactured in three stages: blanking, rounding of the edges by punching and finally bending (90°). The numerical model is linked to the genetic algorithm (GA) in order to optimise design, material and process parameters. This is implemented by using ABAQUS© and CATIA script files. The material behaviour is modelled using a specific Lemaitre material damage formulation implemented in ABAQUS©. A global optimisation is finally performed in order to improve the ultimate unbending load and the volume of the safety part. This work has two major areas of innovation: a) the improvement of the genetic algorithm NSGA-2; b) the development of an integrated numerical procedure including 'computer aided design' and 'mechanical finite element simulation' controlled by the genetic algorithm.

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