Topology optimization of Shell Eco-Marathon electric drivetrain components
Tutor / director / evaluatorDuysinx, Pierre
Document typeMaster thesis (pre-Bologna period)
Rights accessOpen Access
Umicore Electra is a vehicle designed, built and operated by the Université de Liège to race in the Shell Eco‐Marathon. Students have been designing this car for several years improving its components and its operation. Topology optimization is a design methodology that is fastly growing in industrial applications thanks to the evolution of computers and to the applying character of the tool. Additive manufacturing is a novel manufacturing technique that is also developing and being used more and more in research and industry. These two technologies are strongly connected providing new procedures to design and manufacture elements. The aim of this thesis is to use these two novel technologies to design a new support for the electric motors and the supporting plate for the Umicore Electra car. This work is done in order to solve a bending flexibility problem that has been detected in the car. The current solution to this problem is based on adding extra elements that compromise the weight of the car and its aerodynamics. Therefore, the objective of the project is on the one hand to design new components to make the structure stiffer, and on the other hand to optimize the weight of these components. To achieve this purpose, finite element techniques and topology optimization are used. The first thing that has been done is the definition of the load case that the components have to withstand. Afterwards, this load cases are used to carry out the topology optimization in order to design the new components concepts. Based on topology optimization results, CAD models of the components have been proposed while detailed finite elements analyses have been used to check their structural integrity under operating conditions.