nCode helps Accuride analyze complex biaxial wheel test data
FEA and other numerical methods are heavily used to evaluate new designs. These methods significantly help to reduce product time to market. However, these analysis methods can at times use significant resources. To predict the fatigue life of a wheel, you must understand the strain history in the wheel through at least one revolution. Sometimes, incrementally loaded models can be used, but require multiple load cases FE solutions for each loading direction. For example, a wheel with 10 hand holes might require 20 load cases for each design iteration to obtain the necessary strain history used as input to fatigue predictions. Accuride explains: "We collaborated with nCode to develop methods for achieving the same strain history with only 2 FEA solutions saving roughly 10x in the FEA solution times. This achievement is possible by leveraging the symmetry in the geometry of the part even though the loading does not share the same symmetry."
Accuride follows industry design and test standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). In North America, SAE has established two basic tests for evaluating wheels on commercial vehicles. These tests include a straight rolling with a tire, and a rotating bending test without a tire. Accuride states that: "Historically, these tests have served the industry very well. In many other parts of the world the basic SAE tests are also used, but a more complex biaxial test is becoming the standard." A biaxial test is capable of applying radial and lateral loading simultaneously in a series of complex loading patterns, resulting in a more representative loading experience.
Accuride describes its continued partnership with HBM Prenscia: "As Accuride becomes a global player in the commercial wheel market, we are not only learning to do biaxial testing, but also to predict fatigue performance prior to testing on this more complex test. nCode has played an important role helping to develop and implement enhanced performance predictive methods, saving Accuride countless hours of product development time."