Optimization of Gusset Geometry for Welded Joints




Burggraf, Jacob

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This project investigates how the geometry of triangular, sheet metal gussets can be optimized to support a welded joint which attaches the front suspension to a Formula SAE car. The goal of the optimization is to add the maximum amount of stiffness when resisting suspension forces and add the minimum amount of weight to the car. The design process used Solidworks’ finite element analysis and parametric optimization to evaluate 350 possible designs. This was done by varying the radius of a radial cut-out on the hypotenuse of the gusset, the base width of a triangular cut-out on the inside of the gusset and the height of the gusset. The optimized design had a height of 3 inches, a triangular cut-out width of 3.75 inches and a radial cut-out radius of 16 inches. The added stiffness to added weight ratio of the optimized gusset was compared to an unsupported joint, a tube support and a completely triangular gusset. The optimized gusset showed the best performance with an added stiffness to added weight ratio of 10.25 N/gmm.



chassis, FSAE, gusset, Optimization