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Crashworthiness optimization of hydraulic excavator cab roof rail and predicting the safety provided by protective structures using finite element analysis
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
To be published on April 06, 2021 by SAE International in United States
Event: SAE WCX Digital Summit
Off-road trucks, tractors and earth-moving machines are at high risk of accidents involving falling objects or rollovers. Therefore, these machines need to be equipped with proper protective structures. This study designed roof rail of a hydraulic excavator cab using an improved BESO method considering two impact load cases. A new method using explicit finite element (FE) analysis is proposed to predict the performances of roll-over protective structure (ROPS) under standardized laboratory test. In the crashworthiness optimization problem, a weighted summation of external works of two load cases treated as objective function while the volume treated as constraint. A mutative weight scheme is proposed to stabilize the optimization and balance the two independent load cases. The smooth evolution histories of structural responses demonstrate the effectiveness of mutative weight scheme. The optimal design is interpreted and two prototypes are fabricated. The FE-based ROPS and falling-object protective structure (FOPS) tests have a close agreement with that of the physical tests. The accuracy and efficiency of the FE models are high enough to predict the behaviors of ROPS and FOPS under the standardized tests.